Babel Átha Cliath is a three part series funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland
Dublin has been a city with a multilingual population for many years, medieval Dublin was already a city where several languages coexisted, the Vikings spoke Old Norse, Latin would have been present (monks) and also Irish, Norman and Anglo-Saxon (Old English) were spoken. But it has not been until the 1990s, when Ireland became a net receiver of immigration, that Irelands capital city became a true multilingual metropolis with a huge number of languages from all over the world spoken in Dublin every day.
In this new 3 part series, Babel Atha Cliath, we touch on the history and remnants of the older languages that were once spoken in Dublin, such as Fingalian, Norman French, Cant, middle English, Leinster Irish and this examination will place emphasis on the way we use English today and the preservation of local accents, sayings and the idiosyncrasies of Northside Dublinese. We will also meet native speakers of Spanish, Mandarin, Polish, Arabic, German, Lugandan & Irish.
Programme one takes the form of a round table discussion to look at the complex history of languages spoken in Dublin and looking at languages spoken up to the present day. The contributors are DCU Professor Dr. Michael Cronin, Gaelscoil Beara teacher Dr. Aodh ó Máirtín, Primary school principal Dr Deirdre Kirwan & Mary Ryan, former assistant principal in Castleknock Community College.