ALMOST TWO THIRDS of people oppose Fine Gael’s plan to make Irish optional in schools.
61% of respondents are in favour of compulsory Irish up to the Leaving Cert according to a new survey by Ipsos/MRBI for Comhar na Muinteoirí Gaeilge entitled ‘Attitudes towards Irish in School’.
A majority of respondents said that students should be required to study Irish at Leaving Cert level because it is our native tongue and 39% said the language is central to our culture and heritage.
The age groups 15-24 and 25-34 were the most favourable towards compulsory Irish and those in the 55+ age group were the most negative.
Commenting on the survey results, Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin told Nuacht that Fianna Fáil’s policy with regard to compulsory Irish is ‘not in any danger’ and will not change.
The Fianna Fáil leader said, however, that it was time Fine Gael changed its policy on the matter.
Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny said that his party is to conduct an ‘audit’ of the curriculum and the structure of the curriculum and that the proposed policy will not be implemented until after the completion of such an audit.
The party also propose to examine the points structure for Irish in the leaving and plan to look at introducing a new subject ‘ Gaeilge agus Cumarsáid’, according to Mr Kenny.
Today a local teacher in Letterkenny told us: “Fine Gael just lost my vote…and I was voting against Fianna Fail. I’m hoping Labour will put some Irish manners on Fine Gael and get this policy changed. It is utter madness.
“It will devastate our native language and all those who speak it.”