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Cape Clear Island is one of the Gaeltacht areas of Ireland where Irish is spoken on the everyday basis. Its inhabitants can speak both Irish and English, so you needn't worry you won't be understood. But in the summer over 200 Irish Summer College students come here to enjoy life on the island and to brush up their Irish. Of the two notices we saw there the one advertising bus tours of the island was in both languages - aimed at the tourists obviously. But the map of the island was described in Gaelic only.
I wish I could take a course of Irish there.
Updated Oct 12, 2007
In the time I have spent in Ireland I think I am yet to buy my own drink! You will often find that when visiting a bar or pub here in Co. Cork (or anywhere in Ireland) and people find out you are a visitor, they will buy you a drink*.
Of course you should always offer to buy them a drink in return.
If you are going out with a group in Ireland (with Irish friends), they will sometimes buy drinks in rounds, ie, one person goes to the bar and buys everyones drinks and then the next round it is someone elses turn to buy. Although this will depend entirely on the group of people you are with, so just watch and see if people are buying their own drinks or it they're going buy them in rounds.
*no guarantees, sorry :)
Updated Jul 10, 2007
It is hard to believe, that thousands of tourists come to Blarney each year simply in order to Kiss the Blarney-Stone !! According to an old ledgend there is a magic stone on top of the castle, and who-ever kisses it, will get the gift of eloquence.
"Blarney" is also an expression used for words that are used by someone in order to achieve something, without really meaning to do what he had promised.
Queen Elisabeth I tried to force Lord Blarney to acknowledge her officially but Lord Blarney used a thousands words in order to avoid that...
The Queen finally shouted : "That is all Blarney, what he says, he does not mean!!".
Kissing the Blarney-stone is in fact not really easy : At first you have to step up to the very top of the castle, lay back, while a strong man will hold your feet. You have to bend backwards and kiss the stone that is a part of the stone-fence outside of the castle-brim. There is an iron-fence in order to make sure, you will not fall down, but of course you belongings - glasses, hat ect. may do so - see my pictures !!
I have not done it myself, and psst, don't tell anyone : watching that scenery is a lot better than doing it yourself !!
Written Nov 23, 2005
Tho' maybe not heard so much. You may see alot of signs around that have an Irish translation included on their text, particularly some road signs, Government Buildings and offices, traditional pubs etc, and their are some Gaelic areas in the County too where you will primarily be directed as Gailge (in Irish), such as Ballyvourney and the surrounding Gaeltacht. Here you could very well hear locals conversing in Irish.
Written Sep 11, 2004
Cork is home of two popular Irish stouts - Murphy's and Beamish. So Guinness isn't as popular here as anywhere else in Ireland!
Updated Nov 26, 2002
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