Irish doctor with too many thoughts, too little time and a blog that's supposed to check in on reality.

Monday, November 14, 2005

I was the one who told Kenny about the Irish

As a precocious 15 year old I wrote a letter to the Irish Independent bemoaning the appalling state of Irish education in primary schools following a particularly high rate of failures in Junior Certificate.
I complained about how I could barely string a few words together as gaelige (apart from "an bhfuil cead again dul go dti an leitreas?") despite learning Irish in school for 10 years. The little irish I had could be attributed solely to a few summers spent in the blissfully laid back Colaiste na bhFiann summer camps. (Yes, I'm being sarcastic - Colaiste na bhFiann, as enjoyable as it was, was akin to spending 3 weeks in the marines - complete with the raising of the flag every morning while singing the national anthem and being sent home if one sentence as bearla was spoken!)
I think I called for the abandonment of Irish as a compulsory subject - I can't really remember as the archives only go back to 1998.
While this letter earned me a certain notoriety in school (my Irish teacher was less than impressed) it did not make a public impression until now. I thank Enda Kenny, for bringing my ideas to the forefront of national debate.

(Yes, I realise I'm not the only one to have this idea, but I do like to think I was the first and that Inda was buying some fish and chips in Mayo wrapped with my letter and had a eureka-that'll-get-me-some-votes moment!)


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