This Primer aims to be a pragmatic introduction to Old Irish — a language in which many fascinating prose narratives and moving as well as witty lyrical poems have come down to us, but which unfortunately has some very complicated and possibly off-putting features for the new-comer. The only available English-language course-book, R.P.M. and W.P. Lehmann’s An Introduction to Old Irish, may be felt to be too com-prehensive for the beginning student and possibly too academical for the interested layperson. Moreover, the information given there is not always reliable. E.G. Quin’s Old-Irish Workbook is rather old-fashioned and cannot be used independently from other sources of linguistic informa-tion, and Pádraig Ó Fiannachta’s more basic SeanGhaeilge gan dua is obviously inaccessible to the learner who has little or no knowledge of Modern Irish.