The Irish Language Debate (In Irish!)

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The raging debate as to whether Irish should continue to be a compulsory subject in the nation’s secondary schools is no closer to a conclusion. A recent nationwide survey found that the Irish public is split right down the middle on the issue. Currently, studying the Irish language is compulsory at both primary and secondary schools for most students. They are obliged to study it up to Leaving Certificate level, although they are not obliged to take the subject — or pass it — in the Leaving Cert examination..

The debate over the future of the Irish language in schools has been raging since Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny argued that compulsion of the language in schools was not working in keeping it alive. But his proposals have been slammed in certain quarters.

Minister Mary Hanafin responded by saying the best way forward was to make language more attractive to students in general.

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