During the 2010 Féile an Phobail John Duffy gave a talk on 'The History of the Bible in Irish - From Manuscript Era to Digital Download'.
The history of the Bible in the Irish language spans a millennium and a half, beginning with the transition from Druidism to Christianity in the fifth century.
Yet, remarkably, in the land of Saints and Scholars, there are no known copies of scripture in Irish. It was much later in the seventeenth century that an English monarch and an English clergyman were instrumental in the first translations of the New and Old Testaments to be published in Irish. Nevertheless, there was still no single volume Bible for use in Ireland until the early nineteenth century. It was still later in the twentieth century that a Bible in Irish was first published for use in the Catholic Church.
With advances in information technology, Scripture in Irish is now available digitally. Not only can it now be easily accessed, digital technology provides many new features that were not possible using manuscript or print.
This account surveys Scripture publications in Irish (or the lack of them) across three eras; manuscript, print and digital. The history of translations into Irish are outlined, including lists of Bible publications.
The 1981 translation An Bíobla Naofa, the New Testament and Psalms from the 1817 edition of the 17th century Bedell Bible, and portions of the 1970 Ó Cuinn New Testament have been added to the Digital Bible Library. They can be either viewed online or on a smartphone app at YouVersion.com and Bibles.org. (The YouVersion smartphone app also allows these translations to be downloaded for offline use.)