Dáil Éireann - Volume 550 - 28 February, 2002
Written Answers. - Irish Language Exemptions.
Ms Clune Ms Clune
190. Ms Clune asked the Minister for Education and Science the reason a certificate of exemption from Irish for children of a school (details supplied) in County Cork does not apply; if he will contact the secondary schools involved so that these pupils are exempt from learning Irish; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7327/02]
Dr. Woods Dr. Woods
Minister for Education and Science (Dr. Woods): The school referred to by the Deputy is a special school catering for children with specific  learning disability. Under present arrangements and within the context of Circular 12/96, pupils who function intellectually at specific levels may be granted exemption from the study of Irish.
Irish is a compulsory subject in all second level schools that come under the jurisdiction of my Department. There are certain circumstances whereby an exemption from the study of Irish may be granted, which have been notified to schools in the form of Circular M10/94. Under the terms of this circular, my Department has delegated authority to the principals of second level schools to grant the exemptions.
In the case where exemption from Irish has been granted to pupils at primary level, the primary school should forward copies of the primary certificates to the second level school involved. The principal of the second level school will then issue a second level certificate where appropriate.
If it transpires the pupil is not eligible for an exemption, the second level programme in Irish has the capacity to cater for a wide diversity of ability. The programme currently includes a foundation level Irish syllabus, which is specifically designed for those pupils who are experiencing difficulty with the subject. Options in this area should be discussed with the school.
Dáil Éireann 550 Written Answers. Irish Language Exemptions.