Aonaid lán-Ghaeilge

Aonid Sruthanna Gaeloideachas

An aonad lán-Ghaeilge (Irish-medium unit, referred to as aonad for short) is a post-primary education unit in which a curriculum set by the Department of Education and Skills is followed and a model of immersion education is implemented.

An Irish-medium aonad operates under the management and roll number of an English-medium parent school.

An aonad is similar to a small school, organised and run through a minority language while the parent school is run through the everyday language of the community.

Find out more about the Gaeloideachas policy on this model by clicking through the headings below. If you have any queries, please contact us on 01 8535195 or You’ll find existing aonaid in our directory of post-primary schools denoted with an (A) after the school name. 

Gaeloideachas’ Role

Gaeloideachas is the national lead-organisation that supports the development of Irish-medium schools at primary and at post-primary level. We provide advice, assistance and support to people who wish to have their children educated through the medium of Irish, as well as support services for Irish-medium schools in Gaeltacht and non-Gaeltacht areas and naíonraí outside the Gaeltacht. Our work is funded by Foras na Gaeilge.

Our vision is that high-quality Irish-medium immersion education should be available to every parent and guardian who would choose it for their child.

Our mission is to establish and sustain a high standard of Irish-medium education throughout the country as well as to develop and strengthen the Irish-speaking community and culture.

Policy Context

This policy is an updated version of the policy on Irish-medium aonaid (units) developed by Gaeloideachas (registered at the time as Gaelscoileanna Teo.) more than 10 years ago. In the absence of any Department of Education and Skills policy for aonaid, Gaeloideachas has been using this policy as an advocacy tool in to seek proper recognition and appropriate support structures for aonaid.

This policy builds on the understanding that has developed over the years in the sector of the fundamental development needs of aonaid and, above all, the fundamental need for the Department of Education and Skills to recognise an official status and definition of the aonad model. It is Gaeloideachas’ hope that the Department and the post-primary school patrons will adopt this policy, and that it will be implemented for the benefit of the Irish-medium aonaid both within and outside Gaeltacht areas.

Fundamental Principles

  1. Gaeloideachas recognises the immersion education model as the most effective method to promote the acquisition of a target language. The immersion education model is where all subjects on the curriculum, except for English, are taught through Irish.
  2. Gaeloideachas believes that a stand-alone Irish-medium school is preferable to an aonad to effectively implement the immersion education model.
  3. Gaeloideachas believes that every aonad patron should aim to develop the aonad to become a stand-alone school, subject to meeting the criteria set out in this policy.
  4. Gaeloideachas believes that the Department of Education and Skills should not sanction new aonaid if the prospective patron does not fulfil the criteria set out in this policy.
  5. Gaeloideachas recognises the circumstances and conditions of the existing aonaid and the organisation supports them in effective implementation of the immersion education model.
  6. Gaeloideachas believes that where Irish-medium education is available it should be actively promoted, and that patrons have a duty to develop aonaid under their patronage and to promote them.