Students are encouraged to appreciate Irish and have a desire to use it.

  • Students are enabled to communicate in an effective, interactive, confident manner in formal and informal settings in the language community.
  • Students continue to express themselves through consolidation of their literacy skills, and  attempt to use newly-learned language aspects.  They  engage with a wide range of texts in various ways, leading to an appreciation and respect for literature in Irish, so that they may enjoy literature.
  • Students enjoy creative communication in Irish as well as gaining a better understanding of Irish culture and have respect for other cultures and languages.



  • Studying Irish helps students to build on their learning to date and to enhance their skills so they can enjoy using the Irish language.
  • Students’ knowledge of transferable skills and mastery of a language such as Irish will be critical both for learning and in their life in general. This fosters students’ ability and confidence to develop as considerate citizens in the language community.
  • By learning, acquiring and using Irish, students discover information, develop thinking skills, and express opinions and emotions. Therefore, students are able to manage various demands associated with school, the community, employment and life as a whole.
  • The language is a window whereby students can look both at their historical and contemporary culture and identity, and therefore gain an appreciation of the importance of assuming personal ownership of the language.
  • By thinking about and studying Irish and elements of the Irish culture, students’ awareness of the culture of the language grows. This appreciation encourages students to consider their own place in the world and to think about cultural identity on a wider basis.



The syllabus builds on that of the Junior Certificate such that the students expand on and consolidate their Irish. The key skills are taught and assessed on an on-going basis, as well as in the Oral Examination and in the Written Examinations as part of the Leaving Certificate.

  • Students improve their listening comprehension skills through exercises based on different situations and in the different dialects: Munster, Connaught, Ulster Irish used in news items, reports and conversational pieces.  
  • Students consolidate their existing reading skills through practice with texts of  various types and difficulties: journalistic, literary, critical.
  • Students continue to develop confidence in their use of the spoken Irish to the point that they can seek and provide information and express themselves in the language.

Topics included:

Topics practised in class reflect the themes important in the pupils’ lives:
- Family and home
- Local area and country
- School and future plans
- Hobbies and friends
- The world around us
- Modern technology



Pupils sit the Leaving Certificate examination at the end of two years of preparation. It consists of an oral examination at the end of the second term of year two (around Easter), followed by two written papers in June of the same year.

  • In the June exam. a Listening Comprehension forms part of Paper One, as does Composition (write a essay, letter, debate, speech or conversation).  
  • Paper Two consists of Reading comprehensions and literature questions on the prescribed coursework (four prose pieces, a short film and five poems, plus one extra piece of literature for those undertaking Higher Level only).
  • The oral examination amounts to 40% of the overall exam. and the listening comprehension is worth 10%. 
  • The total marks awarded for Leaving Cert. Irish is 600.
  • Pupils undertake House exams at Christmas and, in Year Two, during the last week before the February mid-term break.  These allow pupils to hone their exam skills, as well as showing them where they stand in their own preparation for the June exams. 



A particular level of competence in the Irish language is required in different employment areas in Ireland and overseas.
- Government departments and agencies have a statutory obligation to provide services through the medium of Irish.
- The official and working status of the Irish language in the European Union creates further opportunities for employment.
- Irish is an  advantage for those considering a career as a member of  An Garda, as a primary school teacher, as a translator/interpreter in one of the institutions of the European Union, or in the civil service, at local or national level.



Lessons are delivered using a variety of means. Textbooks are prescribed according to the level being done by the pupils. Pupils have access to a computer room allowing for projects or assignments to be undertaken. Each classroom has computer with internet-access, as well as a CleverScreen board. 
The Irish Department in the school participates in such projects as Gaeilge 24,  and Seachtain na Gaeilge every year, allowing pupils to use their Irish outside of the classroom.  Prizes are given to pupils who take part to acknowledge and encourage them to speak  an Ghaeilge whenever and wherever they can.  


Ms. Higgins Class

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