New social network created for Irish speakers

1 Dec 2011

The world’s first social network exclusively dedicated to the Irish language – Abair Leat! – is to launch in the new year. Its creators are busy testing it and are looking for anyone with an interest in the Irish language or interested in learning Irish to become beta testers.

Those interested are asked to log onto Abair Leat!* and create an account with Abair Leat! – to be one of the first people to use the new social network outside the company.

The new network’s launch date is now Wednesday 7 December.

Abair Leat! will be the world’s first social network/user-generated content application exclusively dedicated to Gaeilge.

The online network has the immediate effect of transforming learners into users. Abair Leat! uses custom-made software that checks the percentage of Irish language content in all updates and posts.

The network will be extremely useful for students, with built-in translation and spell check support. The site could also be a great way for students to interact with each other in Irish in preparation for their Leaving Cert or college examinations.

Social networking ‘as Gaeilge’

The genesis of Abair Leat! came about when staff of Irish college Coláiste Lurgan in Galway wished to work with new developments in IT to enable students to prepare for a cúrsa Gaeilge on their home PCs.

The Abair Leat! project was then undertaken by web designers Block 5 Design to develop a series of online Irish games. Since then, Abair Leat! has gone from strength to strength with a new partnership emerging in 2011 with world-renowned US-based online business Fantasy Interactive (FI) to create a unique social media site for the Irish language.

One of the world’s leading interactive agencies and operating out of New York, Fantasy Interactive specialises in interactive design, mobile and application development and social media for some of the biggest brands in the world, such as Google, Red Bull, CNN and Fox.

Abair Leat! aims to have up to 50,000 users by the end of 2012.

*EDITOR’S NOTE – It has come to our attention that the link to Abair Leat! leads to a username and password request. The network will now launch on Wednesday 7 December. In the meantime, any one interested in beta testing the world’s first Irish language social network can email

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years