The 12 Best Irish Podcasts

Understanding the spoken word can be one of the hardest parts of learning any language. Alongside regular opportunities for conversation, we need a steady stream of audio content to help us get familiar with the everyday sounds and vocabulary…and here’s where podcasts come in! These short audio programmes can play an incredibly useful role in helping us become more immersed in our target language.

Members of our community often ask the question, “Céard iad na podchraoltaí Gaeilge is fearr libh – What are your favourite Irish podcasts?” With this in mind, we surveyed our followers and compiled a list of ‘The 12 Best Irish Podcasts‘. The titles are arranged in alphabetical order, and represent a diverse range of styles, interests and dialects from podcasts currently being produced. Bainigí sult astu!

What’s notable about ‘Aistí ón Aer’ is that it’s not your typical, magazine-type podcast. It’s a series featuring new writing from established or emerging writers, talking about a wide range of subjects. The series provides a large platform for new Irish writing to be heard, all under the stewardship of presenter Marcus Mac Conghail.
Episodes: Éist anseo.

‘An Spota Dubh’ does one thing, and it does it well. This sports programme from Cárthach Bán Breathnach and Cian Ó Griallais at Raidió na Life provides all sports fans with their weekly fix of chat and guest interviews. All the big sporting events of the week are up for discussion. Éist anseo.

You’ll hear Donegal accents and Ulster Irish galore in this well-established magazine show from Raidió na Gaeltachta. A diverse range of topics concerning folks up north is brought to you by presenter Michelle Nic Grianna, Monday to Friday. Be sure to watch out for Mary Aggie’s guest appearance, which are sure to test your listening skills while also delivering a good chuckle! Éist anseo.

For top banter and ‘scoth na Gaeilge’, you need look no further than RTE’s ‘Beo Ar Éigean’ with Sinéad Ní Uallacháin, Áine Ní Bhreisleáin and Siún Ní Dhuinn. What’s most enjoyable about this show is the spontaneous style and wide variety of topics – friendship, work, relationships, culture – as well as the feeling that you’re in the company of three people who enjoy chatting and laughing together ‘as Gaeilge’. Éist anseo.

Broadcasting live every Thursday and Friday from Donegal, and available on playback, ‘Bladhaire’ is a firm favourite with listeners worldwide. Let’s Learn Irish was honoured to be featured on the show in 2022, in the lead-up to our annual Féile na Gaeilge festival! The show consistently engages the listener with its blend of entertainment discussion, live music sessions, commentary on events, interviews with guests and occasional sports updates! Éist anseo.

‘Bláth na dTulach’ celebrates contemporary short story writing from Ulster. Each month a new story is published online, and supported by a podcast episode with Réaltán Ní Leannánin, where she invites a native speaker to read the story, followed by a brief discussion. What’s wonderful here is that listeners also have access to the short story text, via The anthology ranges in style and theme, from love to revenge, hope to humour and sadness. Éist anseo.

‘Blas’ being the Irish word for ‘taste’, this BBC podcast covers a variety of topics, from sports to art to current events. Presenters include Fearghal Mag Uiginn, Máire Bhreathnach, Dáithí Ó Muirí and Caoimhe Ní Chathail. ‘Blas’ functions as a great way to be entertained, test your Irish, and follow subjects that interest you. It also provides excellent content on GAA sports, such as football and hurling. Éist anseo.

Presenter Lisa Nic an Bhreithimh was inspired to start ‘Fada is Fairsing’ after spending a year teaching Irish in the USA. Recorded at Raidió na Life studios since 2013, this podcast focuses on Irish speakers from around the globe, alongside updates on language festivals, organisations, conferences and more. Tune in for multiple guest interviews and news. Éist anseo.

The gregarious trio of Hugh Carr, Áine Mhaoir and James Ó Flatharta have been building up a solid following as ‘Na Seansálaithe’, consistently delivering an entertaining new episode every Friday. Banter, pop culture and good craic are all guaranteed. What’s more, you don’t need to stick to Spotify or Apple Podcasts to follow along – you can also see their weekly episodes on YouTube! Éist anseo.

Seán Ó Dubhchon reliably churns out a raft of weekly, eclectic interviews with ‘daoine mór le rá’ from the Irish language world. Episodes typically run from 20 to 35 minutes, which is the perfect length for anyone new to podcasts and looking for a manageable starting point. Also, be sure to check out this show’s impressive back catalogue of previous interviews! Éist anseo.

Kathryn Ní Mhaoláin presents ‘Sílim That…’, a podcast for the reflective and mindful Gaeilgeoir. Episodes tend to be monthly, with longer editions usually featuring a guest interview. If you’re open to hearing discussions on health, good habits and life tips, then ‘Sílim That…’ is the podcast for you! Éist anseo.

Ciara Ní É presents an entertaining and informative podcast, interviewing various guests from the Irish language world. Listen back to chats with poet Áine Ní Ghlinn, writer-translator Antain Mac Lochlainn or grammar guru Seosamh Ó Murchú. Táimid ag súil go mbeidh níos mó! Éist anseo.

Unlike the other podcasts listed, which are all ongoing in 2023, ‘The Nobody Zone’ is a standalone feature. This 6-episode, true crime series, produced in collaboration with Raidió na Gaeltachta, tells the story of a murderer who targeted the vulnerable in the London underworld. What’s unique about ‘The Nobody Zone’ is that it was produced in five languages – Irish, English, Danish, Spanish and German! This podcast broke records on its release in 2020, becoming the most downloaded Irish podcast (limited series) ever. Millions have since entered ‘The Nobody Zone’ – an rachaidh tú féin ann? Éist anseo.

Agus sin é – ‘The 12 Best Irish Podcasts‘, as reported by the global, online Irish community! It’s interesting to consider how the popularity of podcasts really increased around 2014, when narrative shows, particularly those about true-crime, began to gain widespread appeal. Irish language podcasts were scarce then, but thankfully, we now have many productions to choose from, covering politics to sports, linguistics to pop culture.

No doubt you’ll find an Irish podcast that speaks to you, if you haven’t done so already. Share this list among your fellow Irish speakes, and be sure to post your recommendations in the Comments below. If you enjoyed this article, you might also like to check out our 12 Best Free Resources for Learning Irish.

Join the online Irish community for cúrsaí, comhrá & ceardlanna, and follow along on social media @LetsLearnIrish – beidh fáilte romhat!

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