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Department Members

  • Ms M Brennan

  • Mr Tourish 

  • Ms Clerkin

  • Ms Darby

  • Ms Marron

  • Ms E Brady

  • Ms Thornton

  • Ms Mullan

Junior Cycle

Junior Cycle Irish builds upon the language developed during primary education. The learner’s vocabulary is both reinforced and enriched at this stage and the language skills (listening, speaking, reading, spoken interaction and writing) are further developed. Emphasis is placed on promoting and developing awareness: language awareness, cultural awareness as well as student self-awareness as a language learner. 

In the junior cycle specifications for Irish, students consolidate and deepen their understanding of Irish. Students are enabled to communicate in an effective, interactive, confident manner in formal and informal settings in the language community. The fostering and development of awareness

is emphasised; language and cultural awareness as well as students’ self-awareness as language learners. Junior Cycle Irish seeks to consolidate and develop the skills students bring to post- primary school. Students are empowered to assume ownership of Irish; an important life skill.


Students are encouraged to

  • use language effectively and confidently, both personally and in communicating with other users in the language community

  • enjoy creative and innovative communication in Irish

  • appreciate Irish and have a desire both to speak it and use it

  • express themselves through consolidation of their literacy skills

  • attempt to use newly-learned language aspects

  • engage with a wide range of texts in various ways,  for learning, research, and recreation

  • have an appreciation and respect for literature in Irish so that they may enjoy literature and benefit from  it

  • gain a better understanding of Irish culture and have respect and understanding for other cultures and languages.

The assessment of Irish for the Junior Cycle Profile of Achievement (JCPA) will comprise of two Classroom-Based Assessments; Language portfolio and Communication Task; an Assessment Task and a final examination. The Classroom-Based Assessments will allow students to demonstrate their language, communicative, and interactive abilities in ways  not possible in a formal examination. The assessments will be closely related to the day-to-day work in the classroom. There will be an Assessment Task to complete after the second Classroom-Based Assessment. The Assessment Task will be related to the learning outcomes on which the second Classroom-Based Assessment is based. This Assessment Task will be sent to the State Examinations Commission (SEC) for marking along with the final examination.

Leaving Certificate Irish

The syllabus at both Higher and Ordinary Level is a continuation of the topics studied for the Junior Certificate and aims to develop the students’ language skills and to nurture in them a respect and a positive attitude towards the Irish language. Irish is the target language in all classes and pupils are given every opportunity to speak it on a regular basis.

There are three components to the Leaving Certificate Examination:

  1. An Oral Exam,

  2. An Aural Exam 

  3. Paper I -  an essay, Paper II – reading comprehensions and literature questions.

At both Higher and Ordinary Level the marks are as awarded as follows: 

  • Oral - 40%

  • Aural - 10%

  • Written - 50%

The course for Leaving Certificate Irish covers five main themes:   


  • An scoláire agus a thimpeallacht: The student and their environment

  • Saol an duine óg: The young person’s life

  • An Ghaeilge: Irish

  • Saol na scoile/ na hoibre: school life / work life

  • Na meáin chumarsáide: the media

  • Aon rud eile a chuireann an dalta suim ann: anything else that interests the student


The oral exam 40% is as follows:

  • Beannú (Greeting):  Name, age, date of birth, address and examination number

  • Léitheoireacht (Reading):  Five poems must be prepared.

  • Caint agus cumas teanga (Language ability and fluency): The oral examination is approximately 15 minutes. A reasonable level of fluency is expected.

  • Sraith Pictiúr (Picture Series): 20 pictures are prepared for the exam.



  • Ordinary and Higher Level - Déantar staidéar ar chúig phíosa phróis agus ar chúig dhán. Five prescribed prose pieces and five prescribed poems are studied.

  • Only Higher Level - In addition, Higher Level students study one extra text

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