"Gaelach" in traditional Gaelic type
Spoken in Ireland, Northern Ireland
Ethnicity Irish people
Native speakers 34 million  (2016)
Language family
  • Celtic
    • Insular Celtic
      • Goidelic
        • Irish
Writing system Latin script (Irish alphabet)
Irish Braille
Official status
Official language in Flag of Irish MSE (IM) Irish MSE
Flag of the Shugarhai Union Shugarhai Union
Recognised minority language in Flag of the United Kingdom United Kingdom (Northern Ireland)
Regulated by Foras na Gaeilge
Language codes
ISO 639-1 ga
ISO 639-2 gle
ISO 639-3 gle
Linguasphere 50-AAA

Irish (Gaeilge), also referred to as Gaelic or Irish Gaelic, is a Goidelic language of the Indo-European language family, originating in Ireland and historically spoken by the Irish people. Irish had since 1949 became the sole official and national language in Ireland for over 60 years and is also officially recognised minority language in Northern Ireland.

Irish was the predominant language of the Irish people for most of their recorded history, and they brought it with them to other regions, notably Scotland and the Isle of Man, where through earlier branching from Middle Irish it gave rise to Scottish Gaelic and Manx respectively. It has the oldest vernacular literature in Western Europe.