Ireland's best and worst accents ranked county by county
Life & Style

Ireland's best and worst accents ranked county by county

FOR such a tiny country, Ireland certainly has its fair share of unique accents.

But as is life, some are more equal than others – so we've ranked the many accents of Ireland from worst to best (bring on the hatemail).

After much serious discussion in the office, the results are conclusive and definitely can't be argued with at all.

Here goes nothing...

32. Louth

Or should we say 'Louuuuuth'?

31. Laois

What did the letter T do to you, Laois?

30. Cavan

Better known as 'Calving'.

29. Longford

'Tis a bit soft.

28. Limerick

See Cork, but less fun.

27. Carlow

To quote Father Ted, it sounds like Liam Neeson chasing a load of hens around in a barrel.

26. Dublin (the lot of 'em)

Sounds threatening further north, and a bit like a speech impediment to the south, loike.

25. Monaghan

Are you North or are you South? Make your mind up.

24. Westmeath

Monotonous and Niall Horan-y.

23. Leitrim

'Liathrm' – the ugly duckling of Connaught.

22. Armagh

In Armagh the northerly burr gives way to the southern brogue. It has the best of both linguistic worlds. Although she’s been in England a long time, Gloria Hunniford still has soft Co. Armagh tones.

21. Offaly

Brian Cowen.

20. Wexford

Forgettable but inoffensive.

19. Meath

Gets a bit of a bad rep, but it's daycent.

18. Kilkenny

We had no chice in the matter.

17. Kildare 

Radio-friendly. And boring.

16. Fermanagh

Close to the Tyrone accent, the people of Fermanagh have a soft tinge to their accent— think Adrian Dunbar or Father Brian D'Arcy.

 15. Wicklow

So, Wicklow? Why is every sentence a question?

14. Tipperary

Less an accent, more a shout.

13. Down

Co. Down stretches from Belfast to the shores of Carlingford Lough, so accents journeys from the clipped Belfast street patois to a the melodious cadences of Mourne country. It is from this area that Patrick Brontë came from, and it’s often cited that his sweet Rathfriland tones influenced the writing of his illustrious offspring.

12. Sligo

Better when sung.

11. Tyrone

The people in Tyrone swear that you can tell whether a person is Catholic or Protestant by the way they say ‘early’. A Catholic will say ‘airly’, a Protestant ‘urly’.  But either way, no matter which side of the religious divide, this is a soft, rural accent that is our Northerly number three.

10. Clare

Some say turkeys and Clare people are mutually intelligible.

9. Waterford

Everything sounds better in a Waterford accent.

8. Galway


7. Cork

Where to even begin, boi.

6. Antrim

Here you need to think Liam Neeson and not Ian Paisley (Ian Paisley Snr was actually from Armagh).

But Liam’s accent, even when he’s at his most spine-chillingly frightening, is a delight.

“I don’t know who you are, I don’t know what you want...I will look for you, I wlll find you, and I will kill you.”

 5. Mayo

It's not Mayo. It's Mayo.

4. Derry

Derry is the top accent on the Six Counties (think Amanda Burton or Seamus Heaney). It’s soft, so it is, lilts, so it does, and generally the people sound sexy, so they do.

And they do say “so it is” etc quite a lot. Linguists have pondered over this, with the most popular theory being that Derry was one of the last bastions of Gaelic Ulster to fall, some 400 years ago.

The people had to learn a foreign tongue, and to make sure that whoever they were speaking to fully understood, they would tack on the appropriate “so it is” “so it does”. It’s still with us.


3. Roscommon

They never sound depressed, despite their surroundings.

2. Kerry

Leprechauns, farms, and leprechaun farms.

1. Donegal

Universally adored.