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Irish language should no longer be treated as the poor linguistic relation - Crowe

5 September, 2006

Speaking today Sinn Féin Education Spokesperson Seán Crowe TD expressed his concern regarding the startling results of a survey of over 100 Gaelscoileanna principals which highlighted a great difficulty for the majority of them in finding and appointing suitable teachers. The survey further pointed out the poor standard of Irish of a significant number of applicants.

Deputy Crowe said, "It is imperative that the standard of Irish for teachers in Gaeslcoileanna should be suitable. Teachers are an invaluable resource and should be supported in improving their spoken and written Irish which will help improve the Irish level of their students.

"The Irish language should no longer be treated as the poor linguistic relation to the English language. British Imperialism attempted to wipe out our language but has failed, and we are now witnessing a welcome resurgence in our national language. At present one in every 13 primary pupils is being educated through Irish. This resurgence however must be complemented with suitably trained Irish teachers. It is unacceptable that a principal, through a shortage of suitably trained Irish teachers, should be forced into accepting a teacher whose level of Irish is of a below par. This can have a negative trickle down effect on students.

"I would urge the government to initiate the provision of short intensive courses in both spoken and written Irish, predominantly targeted at Irish teachers already employed in Gaelscoileanna." Críoch

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