Irish uncial alphabet
The Irish uncial alphabet 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
An Cló Gaelach (Gaelic type) is another name
for the Irish uncial alphabet, which 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, and Gaelic typefaces tend to include the letters
and diacritics need to write the other Celtic languages.
- Type of writing system: alphabet
- Number of letters: 18
- Direction of writing: left to right in horizontal lines.
- Lenited consonants are indicated with a dot over them.
Irish uncial alphabet (An Cló Gaelach)
Sample text in the Irish uncial alphabet
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.
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)
Scríbhinní – information about the Irish uncial script in Irish
Ceithre Céad Bliain de Chló Éireannach / Four centuries of printing in the Irish character: