Gaelic script   Gaelic script (An Cló Gaelach)

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.

Notable features

Gaelic script (An Cló Gaelach)

Gaelic script (An Cló Gaelach)

Download an alphabet chart for the Gaelic script (Excel)

Sample text in the Gaelic script

Sample text in the Gaelic script

Transliteration (with dots)

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.

Transliteration (with h)

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)

Gleann Cholm Cille

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:

Free Gaelic script fonts

Other versions of the Latin alphabet

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

Other Irish pages

Irish language | Gaelic script | Ogham alphabet | Phrases | Numbers: Modern Irish, Middle Irish, Old Irish | Colours | Family words | Terms of endearment | Time | Dates | Weather | Proverbs | Comparison of Celtic languages | Celtic cognates | Celtiadur | Tower of Babel | Tongue twisters | Songs | Learning materials | Books about Ogham | My podcast about Irish | Links

Page last modified: 01.06.21


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