Demand For Irish Language Primary Schooling Prompts Calls For Increased Capacity – Demand for Placements Oversubscribed by 20%

The website is reporting that demand for placement in Gaelic medium primary schools is overtaking capacity which has led to calls for an increase in the number of Irish language primary schools. Reporting that over 5,000 primary schoolchildren will be starting the current term in the junior infant’s level; the article quotes a spokesman for the Irish Language Schools organisation stating that waiting lists for Irish Medium Schools at the primary level are 20% oversubscribed.

The shortage in the Capital is pronounced:  “Of the Gaelscoileanna at primary level in Dublin, five have waiting lists of 100 or more. One school has 200 on its list. However, this can change for different schools year on year. Overall, there are 144 all-Irish primary schools in the Republic, outside the Gaeltacht regions”

This latest report is consistent with the growing demand seen over the past years throughout Ireland for increased funding for Irish medium education.  In November 2013 the Irish newspaper “Independent”  reported in an article on its web page under the headline "The Number Of Children Learning Through Irish has Trebled in Two Decades", on the  surge in demand for placement at Irish language medium schools.  The Independent went on to state that as of November 2013 over 45,000 children were attending classes where the medium of education is Gaelic and described the tongue as "booming" in the suburbs of Dublin as young couples seek out an Irish education for their children in areas that have not seen children taught in Irish for generations.

The shortage in Gaelic medium education resources is also a problem at the secondary level. For as the number of Gaelic schools increase and the number of students who graduate from Irish language primary school increase, they and their parents are facing a shortage in availability of second-level education in the medium of Irish. Last year Caomin O'h Eaghra, General Secretary of "An Foras Patrunachta", an organisation founded in 1993 to foster Irish medium education, was quoted sounding the alarm on the need for the government to address the looming shortage of slots in second-level Irish medium education; "We now have a lot of parents who want a second-level Gaolcholaiste (Irish medium post primary school), but there are none in their area."

Late last year the Ulster Star reported under the headline "Irish Language School Gets The Go Ahead", that a new Irish Medium school is to be constructed in the village of Crumlin in County Antrim. Crumlin has grown into a centre of the Irish Language revival in Northern Ireland. With an active Irish medium Primary School and Nursery, the continued success and growth of Irish in this area of Ireland is assured into the next generation. Local organisations conduct fund raising efforts to support Irish education in Crumlin which reflects a true community effort to preserve the tongue.

Taken together these news reports reflect a language that is returning to the place it once enjoyed within the Irish educational system, a development that demands increased funding from Dublin.

This blog is provided for general informational purposes only. The opinions expressed here are the author's alone and not necessarily those of