English has been spoken in Ireland for over 800 years, making Irish English the oldest variety of the language outside Britain. This book traces the development of English in Ireland, both north and south, from the late middle ages to the present day. Drawing on authentic data ranging from medieval literature to authentic contemporary examples, it reveals how Irish English arose, how it has developed, and how it continues to change. A variety of central issues are considered in detail, such as the nature of language contact and the shift from Irish to English, the sociolinguistically-motivated changes in present-day Dublin English, the special features of Ulster Scots, and the transportation of Irish English to overseas locations as diverse as Canada, the United States, and Australia. Presenting a comprehensive survey of Irish English at all levels of linguistics, this book will be invaluable to historical linguists, sociolinguists, syntacticians and phonologists alike.