Irish Regional Accents – Niall Tóibín

I heard yesterday that renowned actor and comedian Niall Tóibín passed away yesterday at the age of 89. I knew him best from his role as the priest Frank MacAnally in Ballykissangel which I watched occasionally in the 1990s. This morning I heard a tribute to him on the radio and discovered that he was a bit of an expert on Irish regional accents, so I thought I’d share a clip here.

Living and working in Maynooth, which is not far from Dublin, the accents I hear most frequently are those of the Greater Dublin area. I say “accents” rather than “accent” because, as the clip demonstrates, there is quite a wide variety even in this region. At Maynooth we do have students from as far afield as the North of County Donegal and the South of County Cork (where Niall Tóibín came from). I’m better at identifying accents from the North than the South, and can at least tell the difference between Belfast and elsewhere in Ulster, but other than that although I can spot different accents I’m hopeless at identifying where they come from.

One final thing. Niall Tóibín mentions in this clip that the Cork accent sounds a bit like a Welsh accent. This is not the first time I’ve heard someone say that but I have to admit I can’t hear any resemblance myself!

3 Responses to “Irish Regional Accents – Niall Tóibín”

  1. Do Irish regional accents in English differ more than they do in Irish?

  2. “I’m better at identifying accents from the North than the South, and can at least tell the difference between Belfast and elsewhere in Ulster, but other than that although I can spot different accents I’m hopeless at identifying where they come from.”

    But you can tell the difference between a Geordie, a Mackem, a Sanddancer, and a Wearsider? 🙂

  3. The Cork accent here has the sing-song tone of Welsh, but I wouldn’t mistake it for a Welsh accent. I’d say English/Welsh regional accents vary just as much as Irish regional accents.

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