English was brought to Ireland as a result of the Norman invasion of Ireland of the late 12th century. Initially, it was mainly spoken in an area known as the Pale around Dublin, with mostly Irish spoken throughout the rest of the country. By the Tudor period, Irish culture and language had regained most of the territory lost to the invaders: even in the Pale, "all the common folk… for the most part are of Irish birth, Irish habit, and of Irish language". Some small pockets remained predominantly English-speaking; because of their sheer isolation their dialects developed into later (now extinct) dialects known as Yola in Wexford and Fingallian in Fingal, Dublin. These were no longer mutually intelligible with other English varieties. However, the Tudor conquest and colonisation of Ireland in the 16th century marked a forced decline in the use of the Irish language. By the mid-19th century, English was the majority language spoken in the country.[a] It has retained this status to the present day, with even those whose first language is Irish being fluent in English as well. Today, there is only a little more than one per cent of the population that speaks Irish natively. English is one of two official languages, along with Irish, of the Republic of Ireland, and is the country's de facto working language.
Hiberno-English's spelling and pronunciation standards align with British rather than American English. However, Hiberno-English's diverse accents and some of its grammatical structures are unique, with some influence by the Irish language and a tendency to be phonologicallyconservative, retaining older features no longer common in the accents of England or North America.
Phonologists today often divide Hiberno-English into four or five overarching classes of dialects or accents:Ulster accents, West and South-West Region accents (including, for example, the Cork accent), various Dublin accents, and a supraregional accent developing since only the last quarter of the twentieth century.
Ulster English (or Northern Irish English) here refers collectively to the varieties of the Ulster province, including Northern Ireland and neighbouring counties outside of Northern Ireland, which has been influenced by Ulster Irish as well as the Scots language, brought over by Scottish settlers during the Plantation of Ulster. Its main subdivisions are Mid-Ulster English, South Ulster English and Ulster Scots, the latter of which is more directly and strongly influenced by the Scots language. All Ulster English has more obvious pronunciation similarities with Scottish English than other Irish English dialects do.
A lack of happy-tensing; with the final vowel of happy, holy, money, etc. as [e].
Syllable-final /l/ occasionally as "dark [ɫ]", though especially before a consonant.
Notable lifelong native speakers
Christine Bleakley, Jamie Dornan, Rory McIlroy, Liam Neeson – "The Northern Irish accent is the sexiest in the UK, according to a new poll. The dulcet tones of Liam Neeson, Jamie Dornan, Christine Bleakley and Rory McIlroy helped ensure the accent came top of the popularity charts"