ABAIR originated from two university research projects, i.e. Cabóigín I and WISPR. At the moment ABAIR is funded by The Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.
ABAIR originated from the university research project Cabóigín I. That project's goal was to develop a full-fledged Text-to-Speech synthesis system for Irish and was funded by Foras na Gaeilge. The first synthetic voice that was developed was called Cabóigín, an Ulster Irish voice (Gweedore). The person in charge of the project is Prof Ailbhe Ní Chasaide from the Phonetics and Speech Laboratory, School of Linguistic, Speech and Communication Sciences (CLCS), Trinity College, Dublin.
Cabóigín I built on foundational research done in the WISPR (Welsh and Irish Speech Processing Resources) project. During WISPR a speech corpus of Ulster Irish was built up that would allow the development an Irish synthesiser. The project was funded by the European Union under the INTERREG IIIA programme. The research was conducted in cooperation with Bangor University in Wales and with researchers from Dublin City University, University College Dublin and the Linguistics Institute of Ireland.
Cabógaí II extended the work of Cabóigín I, also with funding from Foras na Gaeilge. During the project we improved the system developed under Cabógaí I and developed a Connaught voice (Ráth Chairn). We also started the development of a voice for Munster Irish (Dingle Peninsula).
The current project ABAIR is funded by The Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht which enables the ABAIR team to continue developing state-of-the-art synthesis systems featuring a variety of different voices and dialects.