Leaving Cert history: No problems for students who prepared

Eucharistic Congress, moon landings and rise of fascism feature on ‘balanced’ paper

Well-prepared students will have had no difficulty with a nice, fair and balanced higher level history paper, according to teachers.

Susan Cashell, history teacher at the Institute of Education, said students were offered a good choice of questions.

“The comprehension questions attached to the document - which addressed Government, economy and society in the Republic of Ireland between 1949-1989 - were clear and to the point,” said Ms Cashell. “The contextualisation was nice and straightforward.”

She students will have liked the questions on the Eucharistic Congress, Anglo-Irish relations and former Northern Irish prime minister Terence O’Neill.


“There was a really excellent question on the characteristics of fascism. Stalin and the economic problems facing Britain during the inter-war years offered nice questions too,” she said.

“And, on the 50th anniversary of the 1969 Apollo moon landings, it was nice to see a question on the topic,” she said.

The ordinary level paper, which included a document by the State’s most influential civil servant, TK Whitaker, included a good spread and choice of questions, said Philip Irwin, ASTI subject representative and a history teacher at The High School in Rathgar, Dublin.

The 1916 rising, Belfast in World War 2 and the Eucharistic Congress of 1932. “There was a good illustration on the use of forced labour in Stalin’s Russia, but an optional question on Star Wars - under US President Ronald Reagan - would have been tough for most students,” he said. “Finally, it was good to see a question on the moon landings”

Try this at home: - Leaving Cert history (higher level)

Dictatorship and democracy in Europe, 1920-1945

Answer one of the following questions:

1. During the inter?war years, what were the characteristics of fascist regimes in Europe?

2. During the period 1920?1939, what social and economic problems faced Britain and how effectively were they tackled?

3. What did you learn about Stalin’s leadership from his handling of one or more of the following: the Soviet economy; the show trials; wartime alliances, 1939?1945?

4. How did developments in technology affect warfare during World War II?