Kilcar (in Irish
, Cill Chartha or Cill Charthaigh) is a village in Southwest Donegal
. Located in the Gaeltacht
, most of the residents have some command of the Irish
) but may feel a little shy about speaking it in front of strangers. The Ulster dialect
is spoken here, which occasionally can be difficult for speakers of other dialects to understand, but they quickly get the hang of it. Of course, everyone speaks English, so lack of Irish is no barrier to visitors. But English spoken with the musical Donegal accent has deceived more than one visitor into thinking they were hearing a foreign language!
There is still a good deal of farming in Kilcar, with sheep as the main stock. However, visitors strolling in the outlying townland of Curris are often startled to see alpacas grazing in one of the fields! They were introduced to the area in 2004 by an eccentric "blow-in", to the delight of the local children.
In the evening, the visitor can enjoy relaxing in a friendly pub, which may feature a traditional music "seisiún" (session). During the summer, some pubs feature a session every night. As is typical in Donegal, fiddles are by far the most common instrument, but concertinas and button accordions are occasionally seen. Once I even saw someone playing the bodhrán, but he must have been a tourist.
Kilcar is a few minutes' drive from the fishing village of Killybegs (in Irish, Na Cealla Beaga), Sliabh Liag, and lovely Glencolmcille (Gleann Cholm Cille). These days the roads are fairly good, but keep an eye out for sheep in the road.