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Dublin: 9 °C Tuesday 31 March, 2020

Meet Dime: the sheepdog who only understands Irish

Dime lives on Achill Island – where he does the entirety of his work as a ‘madra caorach’ through the Irish language.

Image: YouTube screengrab

ACHILL ISLAND is well known as one of the west coast’s more picturesque areas – and as one of the country’s Gaeltacht areas.

Combining the two, a number of people – including Nías Ó Catháin – keep sheep as pastimes, and naturally need the use of sheepdogs.

But that’s where Ó Catháin’s dogs are unusual – because one of them, as this video sent to us by TG4 News points out, takes his directions entirely through Irish.

Dime had been part of Ó Catháin’s pack for around a year when one day, while listening to Raidió na Gaeltachta, he decided to start giving orders in Irish – and Dime responded.

Since then, though other dogs will respond to commands in English, Dime simply won’t move until he hears its Irish counterpart.

Ó Catháin says that’s fine by him – because it means he can command different dogs at different times whenever he needs to.

(YouTube credit: TG4Oifigiuil)

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About the author:

Gavan Reilly

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