Irish Exemption

From time to time we are asked about the possibility of a student being allowed to 'give-up' Irish.

For the vast majority of our students, those who are elligible to receive an Irish exemption will have been granted one by their primary school. At the time of enrolment in Carrick-on-Shannon Community School, the Certificate of Exemption should be given to the school when completing Stage 2 of the enrolment process.

The Department of Education, in it's Rules and Programmes for Secondary Schools, clearly states that all students must study Mathematics, Irish and English while in secondary school.

There are very limited circumstances under which a student can be exempted from the study of Irish and these circumstances are outlined in DE Circular 0054/ 2022. As a rule of thumb, exemptions from the study of Irish should be applied for in Primary School. To access this circular, please click on the link below:

The above circular is supported by the document, Exemptions_from_the_Study_of_Irish:_Guidelines_for_Post_Primary_Schools.

The circular identifies that there are exceptional circumstances in which an exemption from the study of Irish may be granted.Section 2.2 of the circular states:

"Exemption from the study of Irish may be allowed in the following exceptional circumstances only:

2.2.1.   A pupil moving from a different country without previous experience of learning the Irish language.

And either (a) or (b)

(a) who is not less than 12 years of age on the day of their enrolment or re-enrolment.


(b) who is enrolling following the completion of the full course of primary education recognised by another state.

2.2.2.   A pupil who experiences significant literacy difficulties which are an obstacle to their learning across the curriculum.

2.2.3.   A pupil who expereicnes a high level of persistent needs that are a significant barrier to the pupil's participation and engagement in their learning and school life.

2.2.4.   A pupil in a recognised special school or class or who was previously enrolled in a recognised special school or class or who has a recommendation and has been deemed eligible for a place in a recognised special school and/or in a special class in a mainstream school.

2.2.5.   A pupil whose parent(s)/guardian(s) is a/are diplomatic or consular representative(s) of another country to Ireland irrespective of age or educational history. 

(Please reaad the relevant section in the circular prior to completing an application form.)

Parents/ guardians who wish to apply for an Irish exemption on behalf of their child, should complete the form below and forward to The Principal, Community School, Carrick-on-Shannon, Co. Leitrim. N41 VX63. 

Prior to making an application, you are advised to speak with one of our Guidance Councellors so that you are fully aware of the implications of an exemption from the study of Irish for the student while in post-primary school and into the future. We also advise you to speak with our SEN Co-ordinator so that you are aware of your child's standardised score in a discrete test as outlined in 2.2.2. above (if applying under this criteria). 

When the process is complete, the school Principal will write to the applicant to inform them of the outcome. Where the exemption is granted, a Certificate of Exemption will issue. Where an application is unsuccessful, this will be confirmed to the applicant in writing within 21 school days of receipt of the application. The applicant will be informed that the school's decision can be appealed to the Irish Exemptions Appeal Committee within 30 calendar days from the date of the decision of the school was notified to the parent(s)/ guardian(s)/ student. An Appeal Form will be included with this notification.