Career Paths in Irish: A Comprehensive Guide

Written by Helen de Búrca March, 2024

From creative thinkers to logical problem-solvers, there is an ever-increasing range of career paths available to Irish speakers. You don’t even have to have a degree in Irish for some of them, as long as you’re able to prove to employers during the application process that you have excellent communication skills in Irish. Here are a few examples of different career paths in which Irish is a sought-after skill!

Sceptical, are we? It’s easy enough for us to prove!

Cáca makes a nice dessert, but don’t order ‘caca’ at the bakery!

People will think your clothes are full of holes if you call your bríste! ‘briste’!

Be nice to Seán – don’t call him ‘sean’ and remind him of his age!

Career Paths in Irish: A Comprehensive Guide

Irish-language Promotion:

The most obvious place to start is the promotion of the Irish language. Bodies such as Foras na Gaeilge, Conradh na Gaeilge, and An tOireachtas run Irish-language campaigns, events, and conferences that require professionals with an excellent proficiency in Irish to manage and coordinate them.

Brand Localisation:

There’s a growing demand for the Irish language from various businesses who want to localise their brand for the Irish public. Industries such as technology and media actively seek out marketing and customer service professionals who can bridge linguistic gaps and connect with the Irish-speaking audience.

Education and Teaching:

With an increase of interest in Irish-language primary and secondary schools in the past few years, there are more opportunities than ever for Irish teachers and for teachers who can teach their subject through the medium of Irish. Moreover, inspectors and curriculum developers with Irish are needed to ensure that Irish is being taught appropriately in schools throughout the country.

Lecturing and Academic Research:

For those passionate about the Irish language and Irish literature, there are opportunities for employment in Irish departments at third-level institutions. In contributing to linguistic research, analysing texts, and publishing academic papers, lecturers, critics, and researchers can enrich the academic landscape while galvanising future generations of academics to promote the importance of the Irish language.

Cultural, Historical, Arts and Heritage Organisations:

Organisations dedicated to Irish culture and heritage play a crucial role in preserving the language. Public facilities such as museums, galleries, arts and cultural centres and historical attractions often look for administrators and tour guides who are able to work bilingually to contribute to the preservation of Irish heritage.

Domestic Tourism:

Hospitality, tourism and recreational industries are interested in bilingual professionals to attract Irish-speaking holidaymakers, especially after the COVID-19 lockdown. The ability to communicate in Irish adds value to the customer experience by fostering a sense of connection and conveying cultural understanding.

Irish-Language Television and Filmmaking:

After the international success of Irish-language films such as An Cailín Ciúin and Róise agus Frank, there has been a bigger demand than ever before for budding scriptwriters, producers, directors and actors with Irish. Similarly, Irish-language television is currently thriving, especially children’s television with the launch of the channel Cúla 4 last year. Even if you aren’t interested in being in front of the camera as an actor or a presenter, it’s a big pull for Irish-language media companies if you’re able to work as part of a production crew through the medium of Irish in order to cultivate an all-Irish work environment.

Influencers and Content Creators on Social Media:

There’s been a recent rise in Irish-language content creators on social media. You can cultivate a following of your own by creating and posting interesting content and earn money by making brand deals with businesses directly. Alternatively, the digital hub BLOC are always on the lookout for the next personality to create content for their channels.

Media and Journalism:

From traditional journalism to television and radio broadcasting to online media, there's a growing need for professionals who can research stories and convey that information accurately in Irish.

Translation and the European Union:

Ever since Irish was declared an official working language of the EU in 2021, the demand for Irish-language translators, interpreters, proof-readers and administrators has grown. Irish speakers can find rewarding careers in Brussels, Strasbourg or Luxembourg, representing the Irish language on an international platform.

State Forces and Law Enforcement:

The Irish language is the first official language of the State under Article 8 of the Constitution and is highly regarded within An Garda Síochána and Óglaigh na hÉireann. Both guards and soldiers have an important role to play in promoting the bilingual policy of the Government by ensuring that they are capable of providing a high standard of services through the medium of Irish.

The Irish Legal System:

Since the Irish language is the primary official language according to the Irish Constitution, the Irish version of law takes precedence over the English in the case of discrepancies between the two versions. Irish is, therefore, a crucial element in the courts and justice system of Ireland, providing opportunities for bilingual legal professionals in areas such as advocacy, legal representation, and legislative work.


The Irish language is regularly used in the Dáil and Seanad chambers and around the Houses by Members, staff and visitors. Furthermore, people have a right to request services and communications through the medium of Irish with their local elected councillor. Gaelchultúr has developed a five-week course to enable councillors to communicate through Irish with the public and their colleagues.

Governmental Administration:

The Irish language plays a pivotal role in government and administration. Opportunities in public policy, administration, and diplomatic services exist for those fluent in Irish, contributing to the nation's governance and Irish-language representation on the global stage.

The Public and Civil Services:

The Civil Service of the State employs over 300,000 people in the Republic of Ireland is often actively recruiting. There is a continually high demand for the Irish language in public sector jobs so that public services can be made available through the medium of Irish in compliance with Article 8 of the Irish Constitution. Since 2011, Gaelchultúr has been selected by the state body Foras na Gaeilge to develop and provide Irish-language training courses for the public sector.

Whether in translation, education, media or public service, there are plenty of opportunities out there for fluent Irish speakers to pursue careers in Irish, and this will only increase if more and more people look for Irish-language products and services in their day-to-day lives. Be sure to support Irish-language initiatives, and who knows how many more employment opportunities there will be in the future!

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