TurasÓir to Enhance Dublin’s Tourism Offerings for Millions of Language Learners Worldwide

May 23, 2024

Dublin City Council have teamed up with BÁC le Gaeilge to launch TurasÓir, a new support programme to help businesses in the capital make the most of the growing global interest in the Irish language. Launching the initiative with a splash this week, were Lord Mayor of Dublin Daithí de Róiste, Cathal Furey (City Kayaking Tours) and students from Notre Dame who are doing semester abroad in Dublin studying the Irish language.

In recent years, over 5 million people have started learning Irish on Duolingo outside of the island of Ireland. However, it is recognised that opportunities to engage with the Irish language and the story of the Irish language in Dublin are very limited in the city.

A first of its kind, TurasÓir is a pilot developmental programme which will support five small businesses or community groups to develop tourism experiences which bring the Irish language and/or the story of the Irish language in Dublin to life for tourists.

The programme will see Dublin City Council award €2,000 to 5 businesses or groups to develop and launch pilot projects.

With the language continuing to flourish and increase its profile globally and culturally, DCC have seen a gap between the expectation of visitors to Ireland who expect to encounter the Irish language and the availability of visitor services and experiences which are delivered partially or completely through the Irish language.

City Kayaking Tours have been pioneering this space. Speaking about his experience of using the Irish language as a resource with which to grow his tourism business City Kayaking Commercial Director Cathal Furey remarked “We were noticing that when tourists found out that some of our guides could speak Irish, they were fascinated. They had a real hunger to learn more about the language, its history and Dublin’s current relationship with the language. This is why we’ve developed ‘The Hidden Language Kayaking Tour’ which is proving a real hit with tourists, school groups and Dubliners alike”

Speaking at the launch, Lord Mayor Dáithí de Róiste said “As Lord Mayor of Dublin, I am proud to unveil the TurasÓir programme. Dublin tourism is flourishing, but many of our visitors only scratch the surface of what our city has to offer and in time we hope to have scores of options for travellers who have a broader interest in our language and the story of Irish in our city. The language has boomed in the capital since the turn of the century and we’re looking forward to many more following in the waves of City Kayaking and joining the TurasÓir programme.”

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