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Irish language pupils are aiming for the future - Ruane

25 September, 2008

Sinn Féin Education Minister Caitríona Ruane today presented six Irish language students with their ASDAN bronze awards at Gaelscoil Uí Neill in Coalisland today.

The past pupils of the Gaelscoil were awarded their certificate for researching their genealogy and local history with a local specialist who visited their school every week.

Speaking to the students, the minister said:

"History is the study of change and you have a better understanding of your local community and how you have come to live here. It is appropriate that you have done this through the medium of Irish, a language rich in history, both local and cultural.

"Congratulations to all the young people here today for achieving their award. Local history and researching your family tree is a fascinating subject which can yield many satisfying rewards."

Speaking about learning through Irish, Ms Ruane said:

"Everyone should have the option of learning thorough Irish. My department has a statutory duty to facilitate and encourage Irish Medium Education. The young people here are part of the fastest growing education sector in the North and their commitment is to be commended.

"Learning through Irish does not belong in the past, the young people here today and in other Gaelscoils, Bunscoils and Naíscoils throughout the north are ensuring that Irish language education will be brought into the future for generations to come. Congratulations to the teachers, Board of Governors and the pupils here today in ensuring that the Irish language will continue to thrive."

Minister Ruane also helped the pupils celebrate Tyrone's victory in winning the All-Ireland final at the weekend. Speaking about the match, the minister said:

"Seeing the Tyrone players win such a prestigious event will surely inspire young people to achieve their goals, whether sporting or academic." ENDS

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