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Officials misled Government on Irish language immersion

2 May, 2008


Sinn Féin Education Spokesperson Senator Pearse Doherty has described revelations that officials at the Department of Education misled the Government on the teaching of Irish in Gaelscoileanna as a very serious issue.

News today suggest that officials misled the Government to think that both the National Council for Curriculum Assessment and the Council for Education in Gaelscoileanna were supportive of plans to end total Irish immersion in Gaelscoileanna when in fact the opposite is true.

Speaking today Senator Doherty said the officials involved need to be made accountable for their actions.

He said, "This is a very serious issue that needs to be dealt with urgently by the Minister. If it is found that these officials deliberately misled the Government in an attempt to sway them to end Irish Language immersion then they must be made accountable for their actions.

"The fact is that Both the National Council for Curriculum Assessment and the Council for Education in Gaelscoileanna are opposed to Minister Hanafin's move to end immersion teaching and have cited evidence showing that this method of teaching produces better results in both Irish and English.

"If the Minister was not aware of their position before she clearly is now. She must withdraw her directive to end immersion teaching in Gaelscoileanna. She has absolutely no basis or argument on which to back up her proposal and she does not have the support of those who will be affected by its implementation." ENDS

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