Parents paying psychologists so kids can be exempt from learning Irish, report finds

Parents paying psychologists so kids can be exempt from learning Irish, report finds

Some parents are paying private psychologists so their children can be exempt from learning Irish in school, it has been revealed.

A report by the Department of Education found that 63% of students who are exempt from doing Irish on the grounds of "special education needs" are doing other languages instead.

It also shows that the number of students not having to take the subject is significantly increasing.

The Department examined Irish language exemption files at six primary and six secondary schools across the country.

The Irish Daily Mail reported today that less than half of exempt students legitimately qualified for an exemption.

General Secretary of Conradh na Gaeilge, Julian de Spáinn, says this growing trend will have damaging knock-on effects.

"The current system for exemptions for learners from Irish is broken and needs to be fixed," he said.

"I think what the Department is trying to propose at the moment is more about tweaking the system, rather than any overhaul and putting in a system that actually really addresses students' abilities to learn Irish and also students coming in late to the system."

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