Exemptions from studying Irish
Sir, – In his letter of January 5th, Oscar Despard states that “any difficulty affecting the learning of one language should equally affect the learning of another”.
This is simply not the case. For students with dyslexia the phonetic challenges they face in Irish are far greater than in, for example, Spanish, French or Italian.
An exemption from Irish means that these disadvantaged students can put more time and greater effort into learning modern foreign languages (and indeed English).
His suggestion that “if a student is deemed unable to do Irish, they should not be allowed to sit a State examination in any other language either”, is absurd.
It certainly does nothing to promote goodwill towards our national language. – Yours, etc,