Text size

Appointment of New Minister for Education

May 8, 2008

A Statement of Congratulations from GAELSCOILEANNA TEO.

GAELSCOILEANNA TEO. congratulates Batt O’Keeffe, T.D. on his appointment as Minister for Education and Science. The new Minister for Education hails from Cork, the largest stronghold of Irish-medium education in the country. We welcome him as he embarks upon this challenging new post. 

This new appointment affords the nation the chance to re-examine the crucial issues and the greatest concerns currently facing the education and the Irish-medium sectors. Amongst these are the early immersion education crisis, class size, capitation grants, autism and strategic planning for provision of education.

Bláthnaid ní Ghréacháin, Chief Executive of the organisation commented, “We are presented with an excellent opportunity for strategic dialogue with Minister O’Keeffe concerning the protection of the early immersion model, the accommodation needs of Irish-medium schools and the provision of all the support essential to the development of the Irish-medium sector. With good will, deep awareness of the specific needs of the sector and a co-operative approach, we are very hopeful that the Irish-medium sector will go from strength to strength under the new Minister.

Minister O’ Keeffe succeeds Minister Hanafin who worked diligently throughout her tenure as Minister for Education. We wish her the best of luck in her new appointment with the Department of Social Welfare.  

GAELSCOILEANNA TEO. heartily congratulates the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, Éamon Ó Cuív, TD on his re-appointment.  GAELSCOILEANNA TEO. President Mícheál Ó Broin welcomed this continuity by adding “I look forward to the opportunities that this brings about for inter-departmental co-operation for the Irish-medium sector. The appointment of the new Taoiseach inspires hope and shows a deep understanding and respect for the Irish-medium sector and the Irish language in general.”   

The organisation extends the new Taoiseach and his new cabinet every good wish. In the words of ní Ghréacháin, “We are certain that the new government will rise to the challenges with dedication, ability and in a spirit of partnership.”

GAELSCOILEANNA TEO. is the national co-ordinating body for schools teaching through the medium of Irish. It helps parents and local groups to set up new schools and supports the established Irish-medium schools. There are 169 primary schools and 43 secondary schools currently providing education through the medium of Irish. 

Further information:          

Oifig GAELSCOILEANNA TEO.  01-4773155

Mícheál Ó Broin                               087-9467700


Entrance Policies for Gaelscoileanna

May 7, 2008





GAELSCOILEANNA TEO. welcomes the opportunity to pay tribute to Irish-medium schools the length and breadth of the country for their comprehensive enrolment policies and practices in relation to the provision of Irish-medium education for any child whose parents seek it.  Irish-medium education is recognised as an attractive choice for every child in Ireland including children from varied socio-economic backgrounds, children newly arrived in the country from different linguistic backgrounds, children in disadvantaged areas and children with special educational needs.  The profile of pupils in the Irish-medium schools clearly shows that the Irish-medium sector is open to all.   


In spite of the huge demand for Irish-medium education, the Gaelscoileanna are faced with many challenges.  Challenges include predominantly the accommodation crisis in primary schools, the protection of the early-immersion education system, meeting rising demand and the continuation of Irish-medium education from level to level.  A particularly acute challenge is providing suitable support and resources to cater for special needs children within the Irish-medium sector.  We look forward to the continued co-operation of the Department of Education and Science in helping to overcome this difficulty. 


Bláthnaid ní Ghréacháin, CEO of GAELSCOILEANNA TEO. was quoted as saying "The success and effectiveness of the Irish-medium education system is due to the educational excellence achieved through immersion education.  It’s an open and comprehensive system which celebrates cultural diversity.  Our schools are enriched by greater numbers of pupils from different cultural backgrounds.  The waiting lists and over-subscription to the Gaelscoileanna show that demand exceeds supply.  That said, infrastructural difficulties among others must be urgently addressed to ensure continued demand."


The Department for Education and Science recently published a report highlighting the main findings on the enrolment policies of 1,572 primary schools and 426 secondary schools, a very small percentage of which were Irish-medium schools.  This report marks the official beginning of a consultation  process on entrance policies in Irish schools seeking to ensure that every school has an inclusive policy and follows a set practice.  GAELSCOILEANNA TEO. looks forward to taking part in this public consultation process.  The Minister raised the issue of the validity of statistical information in providing an accurate interpretation of this situation, particularly at a local level.  In this context, the Minister suggests that the information doesn’t raise concerns about the system in general.   


GAELSCOILEANNA TEO. is the national co-ordinating body for schools teaching through the medium of Irish. It helps parents and local groups to set up new schools and supports the established all-Irish schools. There are 169 primary schools and 43 secondary schools currently providing education through the medium of Irish.  Four new Irish-medium primary schools have received temporary recognition and are scheduled to open in September 2008.


Further information:           

Bláthnaid ní Ghréacháin     01-773155

Mícheál Ó Broin                   087-9467700



GAELSCOILEANNA TEO. Congratulates Gaeltacht Family Scholarship Winners

May 6, 2008

GAELSCOILEANNA TEO. would like to congratulate the winners of the Gaeltacht Family Scholarship competition for gaelscoileanna families.  

GAELSCOILEANNA TEO. would also like to thank Joe Ó Gallchóir for organising the competition and to Cumann an Phiarsaigh for providing the 14 family scholarships with funding from Foras na Gaeilge.

The 2008 winners are as follows:

1. Liam de Faoite, Castlebar, Co. Mayo. 

2. Lasairíona Power, Sandyford, Dublin. 16.

3. Lisa de Nais, Lusk, Co. Dublin.

4. Catherine Cullen, Athy, Co. Kildare.

5. Cornelia McGarry, Craigavon, Co. Armagh.

6. Emer Swords, Ferns, Co. Wexford.

7. Áine Ní Allmhuráin, Knocklyon, Dublin 16.

8. Bríd Mhic an Fhailí, Omagh, Co. Tyrone.

9. Caroline/Kevin Doherty, Carndonagh, Co. Donegal.

10. Johnny Cotter, Bantry, Cork.

11. Daithí/Paula Giobúin, Summerhill, Co. Meath.

12. Denise Quaide, Ballyneety, Limerick.

13. Susanna Hennessy Silke, Tuam, Co. Galway.

14. Edel Cousins, Gorey, Co. Wexford.