The talk of education:Do Gaelscoileanna amount to educational apartheid?

My husband wants our daughter to go to the local Gaelscoil, but neither of us is great at Irish. He seems to think it will give her the upper hand in learning languages. I’m not so sure. I do know some parents who have openly said they send their children to Gaelscoileanna so they don’t have to deal with non-nationals. Seems crazy.

baby pickle,

I don’t think Gaelscoileanna should necessarily be fee-paying, but I do think that the same level of education should be afforded any child with special needs as is afforded to a child with no special needs. I have encountered many people who are sending their child to a Gaelscoil or Church of Ireland school as they won’t be associating with members of the Travelling community and, in the case of the Gaelscoil, are less likely to have someone with special needs.


I’ve definitely come across the reasons outlined in the [‘Irish Times’] article for choosing a Gaelscoil. I’ve also come across people with a love for the language and a desire for their children to enjoy Irish in a way they didn’t at school. There are good Gaelscoileanna in our area. We ruled them out in part because it would be hypocritical for us to send our children, given how little we feel for the language.


In our Gaelscoil we have six special-needs assistants, numerous children with every kind of disability, both learning and physical, several support teachers and numerous families where one or both parents were not born in Ireland. Blood. Boiling!


Cyberbullying and schools

I work as a teacher, and I’ve noticed that bullying has become electronic over the years. While physical and verbal intimidation are still out there, cyberbullying is so much easier, and as teachers it’s harder for us to do much about it as, technically, it’s outside our reach. I think parents need to seriously educate themselves on social media, because the kids in general won’t tell their parents. They need to properly observe what their kids are looking at and thus who they are communicating with.

Risteard Ó Muineacháin,

In the old days, if there was someone bullying you at school, at least once you were out of school you rarely had contact with them. Now the bullying can follow a child 24 hours a day, wherever they go. Instant access to the victim, combined with a self-righteous “well, that’s my opinion”, is a recipe for disaster. Mind you, the bullies aren’t as much the Big I Am when they are in tears in front of their parents confronted with their vicious words.


What can be done to bullies? Suspension? Detention? Nothing, really – another huge problem. Kids see bullying as fun, and little can be done to them – one of the reasons it will stay common.

Conor Ó Runaidh,

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Screen Name Selection


Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.