“We’re unclear what the implications might be..”

Despite being opposed to academic selection the Northern Ireland Education Minister, Sinn Féin’s Caitriona Ruane, believes pupils from Irish medium primary schools must get an equal chance of a grammar school place. So, in the new unregulated system, English medium post-primary schools may have to offer Irish language version of their transfer tests.. just like the 11-plus.. From the BBC report

The representative body for Irish-medium education in Northern Ireland, Comhairle na Gaelscolaíochta, has written to grammar school groups about the matter. Spokesman Seán Ó Coinn said parents could remove their children from Irish language schools or take legal action if a suitable translation was not available. “We’re unclear what the implications might be, and it very much depends on how parents react,” he said. Last year, the Irish language version of the 11-plus transfer test was sat by 150 out of 327 eligible pupils.

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  • Rory (South Derry)

    Caitriona Ruane

    The woman is an embarassment

    [Play the ball – edited moderator]

  • Turgon

    I must admit that this, Ruane’s latest, is so feeble that I am almost beginning to feel sorry for her.

  • Rory (South Derry)


    Is someone gonna defend our little provo darlin Caitriona Ruane?

  • dublinsfsupporter

    What has Caitriona done wrong here?

    She is seeking equality for Irish language speakers. What is wrong with that?

  • Rory (South Derry)

    Ok Mick Fealty

    I will re phrase my last post!

    The Irish Language issue is being used by Caitriona Ruane to cover the fact that she has got the wrong Porfolio and should not be in charge of Education

    She is “not fit for government” and neither is the Farmers Minister who played an absolute blinder (not) on Lets Talk last Thursday Night

  • lucretius

    if the classes are going to be taught in english, the kids going to the school need to be competent in english. how does having an irish language entrance exam help anything in this case?

    i would understand if it was an irish language school. it all seems a little pointless to me! how about catriona ruane sorts this mess out (resignation would be a good start and might give the 2011 group a chance of a thought out alternative to the current limbo) instead of making more ideologically based demands.

  • Rory (South Derry)


    She has the Irish Language Act to win – I bet the Shinners think she can be the Champion – bet the DUP don’t!

  • hartshill

    Not so long ago I was reading that there is a major problem finding teachers to teach subjects such as science, geography, higher mathematics and others at secondary level because so few are skilled in it. Can I sue someone?

  • Rory (South Derry)

    Caitriona Ruane but sue from afar incase the Shinners visit you

  • hartshill

    Sorry folks, that should have read that the difficulty was finding teachers capable of teaching science subjects through gaelige.

  • Rory (South Derry)


    We all know what you meant

    But no one has a clue what Caitriona Ruane is ever saying!

  • lucretius


    i don’t see ms ruane being a champion of anything but incompetence, and i assume all right minded people would agree!

  • Rory (South Derry)


    Agreed mo chara!

    And to think people voted for her! Oh dear

  • Reader

    dublinsfsupporter: She is seeking equality for Irish language speakers. What is wrong with that?
    Surely the process is simple. English medium schools should set entrance exams in English, and Irish medium schools should set entrance exams in Irish. That’s equality.

  • Observer

    So, “mo chara”, not keen on asserting the rights of the Irish language?

  • the future’s bright, the future’s orange

    Maybe she has had a change of heart and wants young ‘irish’ boys and girls to attend good grammer schools! This change in mindset should be welcomed!

  • Secret Squirrel

    Quite a few of us attended good grammAr schools.

  • cynic

    “she has got the wrong Porfolio”

    What portfolio could she manage competently? Sport? children

  • Glencoppagagh

    As in the integrated sector (walkout from school in Carryduff because it wasn’t going to prepare for grammar entrance), Irish education is for some just a temporary affectation before the serious education at grammar schools begins.

  • Comrade Stalin


    No she isn’t. She’s trying to use Irish to force grammar schools to abandon their plans to conduct their own transfer tests.

    If that isn’t a politicisation of the language, I don’t know what is.

  • cynic

    She’s trying to use Irish to force grammar schools to abandon their plans

    Shes setting them up for possible religious/ political discrimination cases led by guess who? But its a nonsense. Of course where there is a request they should run an Irish medium test or even one in Polish.

  • ??

    Of course where there is a request they should run an Irish medium test or even one in Polish.
    Posted by cynic on Mar 17, 2009 @ 01:28 PM

    WHy? these are english schools, teaching in english.

  • Curious

    Is it true, Rory, as someone who claims to know you, said here recently, that you actually live in a converted cowshed attached to your Uncle’s farm. And that you were never in the IRA but were sometimes used as a gofer?

  • Essentialist

    46% of parents choosing to educate their children in the Irish Medium sector seek a place in a grammar school. This is remarkable evidence that educationalists and education sectors do not speak for parents. The Irish Medium sector has always been anti academic selection. Pity for them the parents aren’t.