Is There Any Irish Language University In Ireland?


Is There An Irish Language University? 🏫: Is or are there any university/universities available in Ireland? In this blog, we will try to find out. Read on to learn more. An bhfuil nó an bhfuil aon ollscoil / ollscoileanna ar fáil in Éirinn? Sa bhlag seo, déanfaimid iarracht a fháil amach. Léigh ar aghaidh chun níos mó a fhoghlaim.


If you are an avid reader and learner of the Irish language, you may have already known  about its extensive history even before opening this blog. Really, Ireland (and the Irish language, of course) certainly has an interesting history worth sharing to those interested. Most noteworthy of Ireland’s history would have to be anglicisation over time and the abandonment of the Irish language. That is why, today, the Irish language is considered a dead language by many and we see English as the dominant language in Ireland.


Many want that to change and propose reviving the Irish language through whatever means. As a result, there have been plenty of efforts to revive the language. But still, more should be exerted to achieve the ultimate goal of making the Irish language prominent again. One idea in mind that people thought of would be to make every primary and schools a Gaelscoileanna. Caoimhín De Barra, Associate Professor of History at Gonzaga University, Washington, greatly supports this idea.




If implemented, this undoubtedly would see an improvement in the use of the language in the long-run.


But along with that, we also have to incentivise those fluent with it when they grow older and study at universities.


But it wouldn’t revolutionise the use of Irish across the country in the way that some people imagine.


Below, we discuss our thoughts and share with you information about the Irish language university, learning Irish in school and more.


Anseo thíos, déanaimid ár gcuid smaointe a phlé agus faisnéis a roinnt leat faoi ollscoil na Gaeilge, ag foghlaim Gaeilge ar scoil agus go leor eile.


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Talking about Irish language schools and university


FluentIrish has mentioned in the past that sending children to a Gaelscoil (singular forme of Gaelscoileanna) brings about a number of benefits.


Along with becoming bilingual (which has its own set of benefits in itself), they help in reviving the once-dead Irish language. Turning every primary schools into Gaelscoileanna becomes more and more viable and would see an improvement, definitely.



However, the main problem here is that, as they were not incentivised until recent times in learning the language, they would just forget and lose their fluency. After taking the Leaving Cert and going to their desired univeristy, many take courses that do not require the use of Irish language. In our blog titled “How Hard Is The Irish Language Leaving Cert?“, we have even mentioned a number of reasons why they skip it! Disengagement, lack of interest and the language’s difficulty are just some of the reasons why.


Additionally, secondary-level Irish language schools, or Gaelcholáistí, declined in number through the years. In 1949, a fourth of the secondary schools then were Gaelcholáistí, but because they had no opportunity to continue their education through Irish in the universities, the numbers declined.


Still, go along with it


With that said, it still pays to move forward this, provided that they do incentivise the students and see that gaining fluency in Irish becomes attractive in an economic sense – and not just becoming fluent in Irish for the sake of it.


When students leave primary school Gaelscoileanna, they become fluent in Irish. But, after they step into secondary-level schools, they lose their fluency.


The problem here is not the educational system, as stated by Caoimhín De Barra. Essentially, the problem is that the governing bodies have not created a suitable environment for the Irish language to be practically used. Basically, many should use the Irish language because doing so has economical benefits.


The solution to that is by implementing a university that can educate students through using the Irish language.


How an Irish language university can help


Establishing an Irish language university not only helps in Irish-reviving efforts, but it also enhances the Gaelscoileanna and Gaelcholáistí already established for quite some time.


Called a “Gaelollscoil”, it would make students who attends in Irish language schools appreciate the language more and would even help them go to a traditional Irish language university.


The fact that students would likely be able to do their chosen degree through Irish while requiring fewer points than they would need to attend Ireland’s traditional universities would mean that some secondary students would take the study of Irish much more seriously than they currently do.


Irish language university: available course/s


Knowing all of that, in Ireland, we have different courses that tackle the Irish (and Celtic) language available in various universities. One example is the Trinitiy College Dublin, the University of Dublin’s Irish and Celtic Studies. They have Undergraduate, Postgraduate, Visiting Students and Extra-Mural programmes.


They offer a range of courses. An example is BA in Early and Modern Irish.


“Early and Modern Irish provides students with a training in the critical study of the language, literature and culture of Ireland and Gaelic Scotland from the earliest period from which records are extant down to modern times. A wide range of texts and authors is studied and students are introduced to the basic skills of linguistic and literary analysis as well as to the elements of social history, palaeography, folklore and comparative philology.”


Another example of a University you should check out that offers Irish language and Celtic Studies is the Ulster University.


Conclusion on Irish language university


Today, we now find more efforts to revive the Irish language, which involved restructuring the educational system in Ireland. Now, people there have the option of achieving a career whilst studying the Irish language. We at FluentIrish would certainly love to hear more good news like this in the near future.