Thanks. I only learned madra rua, and always thought it was quite sweet.
I had the same question. I have a record with Mary O'Hara singing a song about a fox, "Maidrín Rua".
Is there a way to tell if a word has double consonants? Would "Sionach" sound any different than "Sionnach"?
Syllable-final -nn causes some vowel sequences to be pronounced long; io is one of them. If the word sionach existed, it would be pronounced with its first vowel sound short.
Well, there's no equivalent sound in English. It's usually explained as the ch in Loch when you don't pronounce it the same way as Lock. I don't know what other languages you're familiar with but the digraph is essentially said the same way in Welsh and (I think) Dutch in terms of standard pronunciation.
I see you're learning Dutch and German so I would say like lachen (NL) but not like Ich (DE).
Irish broad ch would generally be pronounced like in German Bach (IPA /x/). Irish slender ch would generally be pronounced like in German ich (IPA /ç/), the main exception being when surrounded by vowels, when it would generally be pronounced like English H instead (e.g. oíche).