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Early Immersion Campaign Takes Centre Stage At Annual Conference

November 15, 2007

Annual Conference of Gaelscoileanna to hear expert evidence this weekend in Limerick

The world’s leading expert on immersion education, Professor Richard Johnstone from the University of Sterling in Scotland, will deliver the keynote address to the annual education conference and AGM of Gaelscoileanna Teoranta in Limerick this Friday, November 16th.  Caitríona Ruane, MLA, Minister for Education in Northern Ireland will also touch on the heated subject when she delivers a speech on Friday evening on the conference theme of ‘strengthening Irish-medium schooling’.

Earlier this week Gaelscoileanna Teoranta launched a campaign fighting against the decision of the Department of Education and Science in Dublin to end the practice of early immersion education in Irish-medium schools beyond the start of the second term of junior infants.  The ban will start to take effect in some schools in January 2008 unless circular 2007/0044 is withdrawn.  The freedom to practice early immersion education will continue in Gaelscoileanna north of the border.

The conference, the theme of which is ‘Strengthening Irish Medium Schooling’, will be officially opened by Gearóid Ó Conluain, Deputy Chief Inspector at the Department of Education and Science.  Other subjects on the agenda for the two day conference include:

  • the integration of children from non Irish-speaking backgrounds into Irish-medium post-primary schools
  • interculturalism in Irish-medium schools at both primary and post-primary levels
  • language and literacy in Irish-medium primary schools
  • teaching materials and resources for teachers in the Irish-medium schooling sector
  • whole school evaluation and planning

“It is very timely that the conference will take place during the same week as the launch of the organisation’s campaign ‘Tumoideachas – Ár Rogha’ (Immersion Education – Our Choice), said Bláthnaid ní Ghréacháin, Chief Executive of Gaelscoileanna Teoranta.

“Maintaining  the immersion education system as a system of choice is a key part of providing a continued high standard of education within the ever stronger environment of Irish-medium schooling. Strenuous efforts are being made to raise awareness – among the general public and members of the Oireachtas – of the importance of the early-immersion system.”

“Professor Johnstone and Minister Ruane will provide a fascinating insight into just why early immersion is so important and bolster delegates commitment to fight against it’s being taken away from us. As ever, we look forward to meeting again with teachers, principals, parents, Irish-language and educational organisations over the two-day period.”

GAELSCOILEANNA TEORANTA is the co-ordinating body for schools that teach through Irish.  It helps parents and local groups set up new schools and supports the established Irish-medium schools.


Media wishing to attend the Conference or who would like further information on speakers should contact:

Bláthnaid ní Ghréacháin                   or                     Rob Hartnett
Chief Executive                                                         Director
Gaelscoileanna Teoranta                                          Hartnett McClure PR
086 8050335                                                           086 3851955
blathnaid@gaelscoileanna.ie rob@hmpr.ie


Total Early Immersion – Our Choice

November 12, 2007

GAELSCOILEANNA TEO. have set up a special website dedicated to the campaign to save total early Immersion in Ireland, An Tumoideachas – Ár Rogha (Immersion Education – Our Choice). It will feature background information about the present situation concerning total early immersion in Ireland and the campaign in particular:


We ask that people show their support for our campaign by printing off the letters below, signing them and sending the relevant letter either to Minister for Education and Science or to your local politician.

Letter of Petition to the Minister for Education and Science

Letter of Petition to Politicians

New Schools Coming Soon

November 11, 2007

New Schools Coming soon

Primary Level

Area:        Kinsale, Co Cork
Contact:    Ciarán Coughlan
Phone:      (087) 2333698

Area:        Gort Inse Guaire, Co. Galway
Contact:    Fiona Ní Chualáin
Phone:      (087) 2887782
Email:       fnichualain@eircom.net
Contact:   Séamus Ó Fáthaigh
Phone:      (087) 4149160
Contact:    Máirín Higgins Fáthaigh
Phone:      (045) 851868 

Area:        Manorhamilton, Co Leitrim
Contact:    Rossa Ó Snódaigh
Phone:      (086) 8260860

Area:        New Ross, Co Wexford
Contact:    Matt Lundy
Phone:      (086) 3204443
Email:       dathai_forde@yahoo.com 
Contact:    Liz Burdon
Phone:      (086) 0843653 

Area:        Laytown, Co. Meath 
Contact:     Tom Kelly
Phone:       (086) 3817700

Secondary Level

Area:         South Dublin
Contact:     Lughaidh Ó Braonáin
Phone:       (087) 6650005
Chair:       Feargal Ó Riain  
Phone:       (087) 2559345
PRO:         Ciara Ruschitzko
Phone:       (087) 9877524

Area:         Arklow, Co Wicklow
Contact:     Eibhlín Ní Conchúir
Phone:       (087) 2213873
Contact:     Robert Marshall
Phone:       (0404) 69351

Area:        Buncrana, Co. Donegal
Contact:    Pauline Grant
Phone:      (086) 0812429

Area:        Wexford, Co Wexford
Contact:    Caitlín Lynham
Phone:      (087) 2677638
Contact:    Caroline Hartnett
Phone:      (087) 2428262

Area:        Waterford City, Co. Waterford
Contact:    Stephen Beatty
Phone:       (087) 9091673

Contact:    Dónal Ó Conaill, An Foras Pátrúnachta
Phone:      (087) 2359198

Phone:       (01) 4773155