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Irish Medium Pre-Schools are lifeblood of the Irish Language

12 January, 2009 - by Caitríona Ruane

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Irish medium pre-schools can make a vital contribution to sustaining and encouraging Irish language and cultural development in our young people.

Education Minister Caitríona Ruane, delivered this message as she officially opened new Irish medium nursery school, Naiscoil ne Deirge in Castlederg today.

Speaking at the event the minister said: "This is yet another demonstration of the vibrancy of both the Irish medium sector and the Irish language. This new school gives young people the chance to be the guardians and promoters of the Irish Language and culture for now and for future generations.

"Pupils benefit greatly from an early start to language learning and it can increase their interest and success in learning throughout their education. It can also help to improve their confidence, self-esteem and motivation to learn. Children who are bilingual enjoy a real advantage throughout their lives."

The Minister continued: "The Department's public consultation for the Review of Irish Medium Education has just been completed. This review will help inform future policy and strategy for the Irish Medium sector. Through a planned strategic approach we can ensure that schools such as Naiscoil ne Deirge can flourish and expand.

"I must congratulate and commend the Committee for their sterling work in promoting the Irish language and culture." CRÍOCH

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