Students in Louth school to walkout in protest over not being educated through Irish

Students at a school in Louth are expected to walk out today to protest with their parents, who say their children are not being educated through Irish.

Students in Louth school to walkout in protest over not being educated through Irish

Students at a school in Louth are expected to walk out today to protest with their parents, who say their children are not being educated through Irish.

Students at Coláiste Lú and their parents are due to publicly protest this morning over what they describe as an attempt to ‘de-Gael’ students’ education.

According to the Coláiste Lú Parents Council, students are currently “forced” to be educated through English despite commitments made to providing Irish-medium education in the area.

“Parents and pupils are upset and angry at this,” said Coláiste Lú Parents Council. “They are reading that exemptions from studying Irish should be ‘exceptional’ and yet they are being denied their right to continue their studies in Irish.”

According to a statement issued by the school’s parents’ council, most Coláiste Lú students are only being taught Irish through the medium of Irish, with first-year pupils receiving lessons in Irish and geography as Gaeilge.

According to the Department of Education, Coláiste Lú currently operates as an aonad (an Irish-medium unit) within Coláiste Chú Chulainn in Dundalk. According to the parents’ council, some of their children’s classes have been integrated with Coláiste Chú Chulainn, which is an English-medium school.

“We now have the situation where students who have studied subjects up to now in Irish, and due to take Junior and Leaving Certificate exams are forced to study in English, with terminology that they do not understand. In a number of instances, this difficulty is compounded by the fact English is not spoken at home.”

On Thursday morning, students and their parents are due to picket the offices of Coláiste Lú patron, the Louth and Meath ETB (LMETB), according to Aidan Kinsella, secretary of the Coláiste Lú Parents Council.

This includes withholding their children from attending school, he added.

“Parents also wish to advise that they intend to explore all options, including legal options, to have the right of having their children educated through Irish upheld. At recent Coláiste Lú parents’ meetings, this is the unanimous position.”

Representatives from the LMETB declined to comment when contacted by the Irish Examiner.

The Department of Education understands that the ETB has had ongoing contact with the school concerned, a spokesman for the department confirmed.

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