Department of Education
Published on 29 August 2022
Last updated on 22 February 2024
In certain exceptional circumstances, a primary pupil or post-primary student may be granted an exemption from studying Irish. School management holds the authority to grant an exemption.
Exemption eligibility is outlined in the Circulars:
A written application for an exemption is made by the parent/guardian or the student (18 years and over) to the school principal on behalf of their child/themselves. The application should state the reason why the exemption is being sought.
A pupil/student will only be considered for an exemption if their educational circumstances are included in the Primary Circular
or the Post-primary Circular
Primary application form for an exemption from the study of Irish
Post-primary application form for an exemption from the study of Irish
If the application for an exemption from the study of Irish is refused, a parent/guardian or a student over 18 years can appeal the school’s decision to the Irish Exemptions Appeal Committee (IEAC).
The IEAC will make a decision on whether the exemption should be granted or not, inform the school of the decision and require the school to give effect to their decision.
Appeals must be lodged within 30 calendar days from the date of the school's decision to refuse an exemption. The parent or guardian will receive notice of this decision in writing.
Primary appeal form
Post-primary appeal form
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