The Gaelic script originated in medieval manuscripts as a variant of the Latin alphabet. The first Gaelic typeface was designed in 1571 for a catechism commissioned by Elizabeth I, Aibidil Gaoidheilge & Caiticiosma by Seán Ó Cearnaigh, and this style of typeface was used for printing Irish until mid-20th century.
The Gaelic script is known as An Cló Gaelach (Gaelic type) in Irish. It is also known as Irish character, Irish type, Gaelic type, Celtic script or the Uncial alphabet. It is now used mainly as a decorative script on road signs, street names, shop signs and elsewhere in Ireland. It is also used as a decorative script in Scotland, Wales, Cornwall, and the Isle of Man. Gaelic typefaces tend to include the letters and diacritics needed to write the other Celtic languages, and English.
Download an alphabet chart for the Gaelic script (Excel)
Saolaítear na daoine uile saor agus coṁionann ina ndínit agus ina gcearta. Tá bua an réasúin agus an ċoinsiasa acu agus dlíd iad féin d'iompar de ṁeon bráiṫreaċais i leiṫ a ċéile.
Saolaítear na daoine uile saor agus comhionann ina ndínit agus ina gcearta. Tá bua an réasúin agus an choinsiasa acu agus dlíd iad féin d'iompar de mheon bráithreachais i leith a chéile.
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They
are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another
in a spirit of brotherhood.
(Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)
A text in Irish in the Gaelic script that appears in Glencolmcille Folk Village in Donegal (photo by Simon Ager).
Information about the Gaelic script
Scríbhinní - information about the Gaelic script in Irish
Ceithre Céad Bliain de Chló Éireannach / Four centuries of printing in the Irish character: http://services.spd.dcu.ie/library/LIBire/Special%20Collections/spcoll4centG.htm
Free Gaelic script fonts
Archaic Latin alphabet, Basque-style lettering, Carolingian Minuscule, Classical Latin alphabet, Fraktur, Gaelic script, Merovingian, Modern Latin alphabet, Roman Cursive, Rustic Capitals, Old English, Sütterlin, Visigothic Script
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Page last modified: 01.06.21
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