Call for introduction of structured policy on Irish

New campaign seeking evidence-based ‘comprehensive and holistic’ policy on teaching of Irish

Minister for Education Joe McHugh. Photograph: Alan Betson

Minister for Education Joe McHugh. Photograph: Alan Betson


The Minister for Education should introduce an integrated policy linking the teaching of Irish throughout all cycles of the education system, according to a new campaign being launched today.

The #Gaeilge4All campaign aims to link the teaching of Irish from pre-school through to third level to ensure a “joined-up approach” for Irish at each step in the education system.

Campaign spokesperson and general secretary of Conradh na Gaeilge Julian de Spáinn said “Since the foundation of the State in the south all Governments have avoided the fact that Irish in our education system is broken.”

Mr de Spáinn said the public is behind reform.

This, he said, was evident not just from the results of a survey carried out on behalf of Conradh na Gaeilge “but also based on thousands and thousands of social media comments, letters to editors, newspaper articles, opinion pieces, polls and much more over the years.”

Mr de Spáinn said a “comprehensive and structured policy” is required which would recognise the role played by schools, teachers, parents, communities and the students themselves.

The campaign coincides with the results of the Kantar Millward Browne survey which recorded majority support for the retention of Irish as a core subject for the Leaving Cert.

When asked how strongly respondents agreed or disagreed with the statement that “Irish should remain as a core subject, i.e. that all students study, up to the Leaving Certificate,” 64 per cent agreed while 14 per cent disagreed.

The research found the same level of support for the introduction of reforms to ensure that all students finish their education with a competent level of Irish.

The Millward Brown Island of Ireland Poll was carried out between 23rd January and 6th February and 1,011 interviews were conducted at 66 sampling points in the south.