Should Irish be compulsory? Thousands respond on Facebook…

Yesterday, i posted a question to Facebook mainly as an experiment to test out Facebook’s new ‘questions’ feature. Within an hour of posting, we’d gotten 80 answers from 80 different people. I thought to myself ‘wow’. Little did i know what would happen next…

The question started going viral. As i write this (just 15 hours after asking the question) over 3,000 people on Facebook have had their say. We’ve been blown away by the response. Along with yes / no answers people have also debated in the comments section of the question and raise some really interesting points. We’ve taken snippets from some of the comments on facebook.

I think it should be compulsory for the leaving cert otherwise the language would become a thing of the past. If students don’t think they’ll be tested on it they won’t put the effort into learning it and if you spend that many years learning it then you should be fit to be tested on it. Just my thoughts…


Should be up to the student, have 2 kids in Gaelscoil and think it’s a shame that we don’t speak our own language.


im gonna be bold here and say its the people who teach it and the way its delivered that cause to be such a contemptous subject.i would have loved to speak irish well,but the thoughts of sitting infront of a droning irish teacher filled me with dread!in short ,if teachers showed a love for there subject if would be more rewarding for learn and hence the take up might be better!


No it shouldn’t, why should we be required to learn a second language to qualify for college spaces?? If thats the case then English should be considered a separate language, in total Irish students require three languages for their exams – how many other countries do? It should be taught but an option given.


Definitely shouldn’t be compulsary as majority of people will never use it again, no point in saying that it will loose the language as it is long dead, those who want to do it will still have the choice but no point of the rest of us wasting our time on something we will never use again.

The debate rages on and on and since i started writing this blog post (about 30 minutes ago) we’ve had another 200 votes on Facebook. It seems everyone in the country wants their say and this is quickly turning in to one massive survey which will finally allow us to get the people’s verdict on what is a highly controversial topic right now amongst students, parents and politicians – “Should Irish be compulsory for the leaving cert?” Have your say on our Facebook page if you haven’t already!


15 thoughts on “Should Irish be compulsory? Thousands respond on Facebook…”

  1. Irish should defiantly should not be compulsory, those who want it compulsory go learn it yourselves but don’t force us!

  2. i agree with tim if you want it to be compulsory do it your self we could do a subject were better at to get more points in the leaving cert

  3. It should be,its in us as people to learn,know and acknowledge who we are..people fought for our freedom to speak it,why stop now

    1. those people fought for freedom for irish people but to literally force leaving certificate students against their will to take an extra and lets face it dead and completely useless subject that is simply going to cause further stress in the most stressful year of their lives so far, makes a mockery of that freedom of choice. if you want to learn a long forgotten language that will not benefit you at all then thats fine, good for you, for the rest of us who would rather take up an extra subject that will actually matter in regards to our future then we should not have to pick up an irish textbook.

  4. it shouldnt be. if it was not compulsory it would take alot of pressure of people. but leave it as an optopnal subject for the people that want to learn it.

  5. Irish should definitely be compulsory, it is our native language and everyone should have some level of Irish.

    1. good for you, if you want to take up irish then that is your choice, for the rest of us who do not want a useless subject taking away from IMPORTANT ones like biology and chemistry, then we should have a choice in the matter. forcing people to learn this language only defeats the purpose, as a language you must force on people to keep alive is a dying one. The fact that in order to get into UCD you need a c3 in ordinary is a joke, that suggests that at some point during the microbiology, or nueroscience course i am hoping to take there i will actually use irish, lol,

  6. It should not be compulsory! I have completed the Leaving cert Irish course and I know for a fact that anyone who has completed the course has very little Irish afterwards and wouldn’t even be able to spark a conversation in Irish. What is the point!?

  7. Out of curiosity is it just me or are the majority of people saying it should be compulsory those that never had to learn it in school?

  8. I’m doing my LC at the mo and definitely think that irish should be compulsory! I know lots of students hate the subject but this is because the course is long and boring and basically involves learning off essays. The amount of literature you have to learn is ridiculous! I think it would be such a shame to see our unique language die. Changes are being brought in for next years 5th years, hopefully that’ll make people love irish more. i think its really sh*te that the language is considered ‘dying’..

  9. Of course irish should be compulsory. Our language and culture is what gives us our nationality. And in times of severe american cultural imperialism, our irishness is being threatened. And ironically anyone who suggests otherwise is merely a cliché of a lazy modern era of western propaganda.

    Tiocfaidh ár lá.

  10. should definitley be not compulsory especially for something as important as the L.C. Irish is already a dead language with only about a few thousand out of 4.5-5 million who speak it everyday. I know it’s irelands national language but for gods sakes the D.o.E should not force us to learn such a time consuming, boring and insignificant language that yields no good jobs (except if you want to become a teacher, garda, join the army, which i find TOTALLY exhilerating (note the sarcasim)). Just ask yourself, how much of your life will you be speaking irish?? In what situations will it be useful,if ever!? If you want to learn it JUST to preserve irish identity, then go learn it, don’t force others to undertake a dead language. — This all can be summed up by ”why revive a week old dead dog?”—the answer is…… wouldn’t. If you are concerned about losing the language, just save recordings of the language onto a floppy disk and stop wasting our time, problem solved. People need to accept that the language IS in fact dying.

    1. Athru, You have contradicted yourself in your comment. You claim that Irish is dead, then say a few thousand people speak it everyday, and finish by saying it is in fact dying.

      All of these statements can not possibly be true. If it is dead now, It cant be dying too, and if thousands of people speak it every day, then it can be dead.

      That you think it is dead suggests that you dont actually know what a dead language is. For your benefit, A Dead language is a language that has no remaining native speakers. Irish thus is far from dead.

      As for dying, Its not, Irish is growing as a language, I find it hard to imagine that you are so out of touch with Irish society as not to have noticed Gaelscoils popping up all over the country. Perhaps the explenation is denial?

      You also made another false claim, relating to jobs you can get if you have Irish. You said that it is only usefull to be a Teacher, Garda or for the Army.

      There are plenty of other jobs for which Irish is usefull. Almoast any job in the media for example. You could be a Writer for an Irish Language newspaper, a presenter on one of the Irish Language radio stations, or you could work in Television with TG4 or the BBC.

  11. Hi im jonah im doing LC irish its absolutely ridiculous and a waste of time and money , im never going to use this stupid language when i leave school so it should definetly not be compulsary sure you might as well learn acient greek for god sake

  12. Why should it be compulsory? It’s a completely useless and dead language that is horribly taught in schools. I knew more Spanish for Junior Cert than the Irish I had learnt all my life. It should be compulsory up until Leaving Cert. Why should someone need this on their Leaving Cert? Maybe offer an extra 15-25 points to encourage it, but that’s it.

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