Review of Leaving Cert Irish – make sure parents’ voices are heard!

Apr 28, 2021


What changes are planned and up for public consultation? 

That there will be 2 new courses (specifications) for students:  

  • L1 (Language 1: with Irish as the main school language, i.e. Irish-medium and Gaeltacht schools) 
  • L2 (Language 2: with Irish as the second school language, i.e. English-medium schools), with 2 levels (ordinary and honors). It is proposed that the foundation level will no longer exist. 

Pupils in English-medium schools can choose to take the more challenging L1 specification if they wish.  


If introduced, these new specifications would begin in schools in 2023 and be examined for the first time in June 2025. 

What are the potential implications for your child? 

  • For students who choose to take the more challenging L1 specification, there’s no plan to compensate the student for the extra work involved (by awarding bonus marks, for example). Is a student likely to choose to take more challenging course if their extra effort will not be recognised? 
  • It is not clear whether the more challenging L1 specification will be compulsory or optional in L1 schools. 
  • There will be lower % marks for oral examinations (from 40% to 35%) 
  • Teachers are concerned that they will not have sufficient support to enable them to teach the new course. 

What does Gaeloideachas recommend? 

  • That the NCCA review the impact of the recent changes made to Irish in the Junior Cycle before making any changes to Leaving Certificate Irish. 
  • That the reforms should acknowledge the additional workload for the student undertaking the more challenging course. 

How can you have your say as a parent? 

  • Read through the proposed changes, if possible, and reflect on them. They ar available here.
  • Have a look at the leaflet from Gaeloideachas which sets out our position on the consultations.They are available here.
  • Join us on the 10 May 2021, 7.00 -8.15 pm to share your views. Feedback from the session will be shared with the NCCA (who are responsible for implementing the changes). Register here