About 70 years ago I hear that certain people made use of some "travellers" to teach them Irish.
One who availed of this opportunity was a teacher in the next parish - Mr. Sheridan.
He found out that several of the poor men who used to come to his door for alms were native Irish Speakers, and so he always addressed a "caller" in Irish.
If he answered in the old tongue he was brought in, tea or dinner was put before him and when he left his host accompanied him for miles talking Irish and getting the "Blás" from the poor man whose only possession was the native tongue of the Gael.
The teacher became very proficient because he studied Irish from books in his spare time and got the spoken language from his poor visitors.