Leaving Cert Irish paper 2: Most students ‘happy and confident’ in their efforts

Constance Markievicz appeared in a ‘dull but straightforward’ comprehension question

Countess Constance Markievicz who appeared in Tuesday’s higher level Irish Leaving Cert exam.

Students who did not cover all areas of the course may have struggled with the second higher-level Irish paper, according to teachers.

Clare Grealy, an Irish teacher at the Institute of Education in Dublin, said the paper really shows that you “can’t afford to leave anything out.”

“If students held their nerve in this exam they would have been fine. This is the eighth year that Gnáthrud has not appeared in the prose section, however Dís was widely anticipated and students would have been well prepared for this,” she said.

One surprise was the appearance of An tEarrach Thiar in the poetry section. “Having said that , the poem is regarded as one of the easiest of the five on the course, and the question was very straightforward” said Ms Grealy.



The first comprehension dealt with Constance Markievicz, her life and women obtaining the vote in 1918.

“It was a dull comprehension, but would have been easily understood,” said Ms Grealy.

“The second comprehension dealt with research and exploration in space. Students might have had difficulty with the translation of the word in the title ‘taiscéalaíocht’ which means exploration.

“This would be a problem, as the word was mentioned consistently throughout the comprehension.”

Students will have been happy with the questions on the play An Triail, which about 80 per cent opt for, she said.

However, question three on the Dánta Breise section, on what importance was attached to the pigeons, may have been testing for students.

The ordinary level paper was popular among candidates, according to Emer McTernan, Studyclix.ie expert teacher.

“Much of the poetry and prose content tipped among students - An Spailpín Fánach, Colscaradh, Hurlamaboc and Cáca Milis - came up.” she said.

“The phrasing of the questions were all fair and offered nothing out of the ordinary. Two reading comprehensions on Michael D Higgins and the Oireachtas were also very doable. Well-prepared students will have left the exam hall happy and confident in their efforts.”

‘Easy enough’

Rían Gilroy, ordinary level Irish Leaving Cert Student at Jesus and Mary Secondary School, Enniscrone, Co Sligo said she found the paper easier than the mock exam.

“I thought the questions were fairly manageable. I finished 10 minutes early and I had loads of time to look over it all. The poetry was also easy enough and didn’t take too long.”

Try this at home

- Leaving Cert Irish paper 2 (higher level)

An Triail

“Creideann go leor de na carachtair (na pearsana) sa dráma An Triail nach bhfuil aon mhilleán orthu féin faoi thragóid an chailín óig, Máire Ní Chathasaigh.” Déan plé ar an ráiteas sin.