Preliminary Census results show pivotal role of Irish-medium Education in increasing number of Irish speakers

Jun 2, 2023

The preliminary results of Census 2022 announced this week are a clear indication of the impact of Irish-medium education, according to Gaeloideachas, the advocacy and support organisation for Irish-medium and Gaeltacht schools, and naíonraí outside the Gaeltacht. Gaeloideachas has noted the clear correlation between counties where Irish-medium secondary schools are available and counties which have higher numbers of Irish speakers who describe their Irish as “very good.”

“This shows that when genuine opportunities are provided for them, young people growing up outside of Gaeltacht areas are more than capable of developing a high standard of Irish which will stand to them throughout their lives,” said Bláthnaid ní Ghréacháin, CEO of Gaeloideachas. “Unfortunately, the reverse is also true, and we need only look at the maps provided by the Central Statistics Office to see that far fewer people say they have very good Irish in counties where there is no option to attend secondary school through the medium of Irish.”

According to Gaeloideachas, these preliminary results indicate that the availability of Irish-medium education at all levels is of vital importance in increasing the number of Irish speakers across the country. The number of Irish-medium secondary schools in particular needs to be increased to ensure that every child has the opportunity not only to continue their education through Irish, but to continue throughout their lives as Irish speakers.

“A year ago this month, the Government announced the establishment of the Irish Language Advisory Committee, committing to its targets to ensure that 20% of public service recruits speak proficient Irish from 2030 and to increase the number of public services provided through Irish,” said Micheál S. Mac Donnacha, President of Gaeloideachas. “If those targets are to be reached, a significant change in approach to the provision of Irish-medium education will be needed to meet demand and ensure that education through Irish, from naíonra to second level, is accessible to everyone who chooses it.”



Bláthnaid ní Ghréacháin, CEO| | 01 8535195 | 086-8050335

Micheál S. Mac Donnacha, Uachtarán | | 087-2891544


Notes for the editor


Gaeloideachas is the national lead-organisation that supports the development of Irish-medium and Gaeltacht schools at primary and at post-primary level.

Gaeloideachas provides 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.

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