The Permanent Home for Irish in Galway: Áras na nGael
Business//Culture//Galway History//Irish Language

The Permanent Home for Irish in Galway: Áras na nGael

Galway’s landmark Irish-language centre, Áras na nGael, continues to foster the use and promotion of Irish throughout Galway. Today, the building offers a wide range of Irish services and classes as well as being a space for the local community to come together and celebrate our rich and thriving cultural heritage through live entertainment and events. Discover all about it here..

‘Tír gan teanga, tír gan anam.’ - A country without language is a country without soul.

The building in which Áras na nGael resides has a long history tied with the development of the Irish language. Once owned by Lady Gregory, one of the leading figures of the Irish Literary Revival, it was in 1938 that the building at 45 Dominick St Lower began its life as the ‘House of the Irish’ - Áras na nGael. It was established due to the declining number of Irish language movements in Galway at the time, as well as the absence of headquarters to manage them. Its founding committee reached the decision that Áras na nGael would exist under several key principles; 1. ‘That there would be no restriction on those who use the building except that they would conduct their business through Irish.’ 2. ‘The building would have a special place for the young people as they were a crucial part of the Irish language movement.’ 3. ‘It would be available for Irish entertainment and dances, theatre for Irish language plays, Irish language debates as well as many other events.’ These same core ideals can be seen in how Áras na nGael operates to this day. Áras na nGael’s Oifigeach Forbartha (Development Officer), Malachi tells us; “It’s amazing to be able to continue that vision and legacy. It’s also a bit of pressure as well to make sure that you are always doing your best and maintaining the standards that people set out. But it is just really special and motivates us.”

Throughout the year Áras na nGael provides Irish classes ranging from beginners to advanced and curates a learning environment that is both relaxed and fun while covering topics of reading, writing, understanding and, most importantly, speaking our beautiful native language. Anyone seeking to practise their Irish outside the classroom, they host biweekly Ciorcal Comhrá groups for those looking to brush up on their Irish. All levels are welcome, whether you’re a learner or a native speaker. The group meets in person every Monday at 6pm, and every Thursday at 6pm on Zoom. Comprising a club alongside its school, Club Áras na nGael, is renowned as a music venue catering to all tastes with everything from traditional music to world music live in the bar. Over the years it’s earned a reputation for being safe, inclusive and welcoming and continues to host performances of live music, trad sessions, open mic nights, drag shows, DJs, dance, launch parties and more. They work also with local groups such as Galway Pride and collectives such as A Modern Movement, Deep Sea Dweller and Ar Ais Arís. In the year ahead thanks to the building’s new refurbishments, they will be open to a whole new variety of events and classes including Seannós singing, dancing, and tin whistle classes. Keep an eye out for their events lineup for this year’s Seachtain na Gaeilge which takes place annually on March 1st-17th.

For more information on all they have going on check out their website at or contact them at

All photos by Ciarán MacChoncarraige

Published on Updated on