Dr Máiréad Moriarty, School of Modern Languages and Applied Linguistics, writes for RTÉ Brainstorm that while it is impossible to speak without an accent, it is something which is ultimately controlled by ourselves.
Despite the fact that many people believe they do not speak with an accent, the reality is that it is impossible to speak without an accent. Our accent is the result of a number of factors, but it is principally dependent on how, where, when and under what circumstances you acquired your first language. Speech patterns develop very early in life, with some research suggesting the acquisition of this element of one’s first language actually begins in the womb.
For an island which is geographically very small, Ireland has an incredibly diverse accent culture, which is part due to our very complicated relationship with the English language.
In local terms, key accent and dialect features are hugely important, something which the Together for Yes campaign has highlighted through their creation of badges in regional variations of yes e.g. Limerick together for Yurt, Cork together for Yeah, like.