While interest in European languages appears to be down in the points allocated in this year’s CAO First Round, level eight courses which involve a significant Irish language component seem to have risen in popularity.
Since the introduction of the Official Languages Act in 2003 and the recognition of Irish as an official working language in the European Union, employment prospects have improved for graduates with skills in the language.
The surge in interest in Irish courses may be related to the availability of well-paid EU translation jobs along with good employment prospects for Irish teachers.
Commerce courses with a European language component either fell slightly in points or remained steady but business and Irish courses rose in demand at UCC (up from 485 to 509 points) and at NUI Galway from 451 to 473 points.
Translation studies with Irish at NUIG is up from 308 to 330 points.
Early and modern Irish at Trinity College is up 3 points to 347. Media and Irish at NUIG is up from 301 to 308.
Home economics teaching with Irish at St Angela’s is up from 419 to 430 points. Primary teaching for Gaeltacht applicants is up from 441 to 442.
A few new courses with an Irish element - primary teaching through Irish at Maynooth debuts at 474 points and teaching with Irish courses at Marino Institute of Education kicks off at 491 and 492 points.