Department Staff
Bean Emma Uí Uiginn (HoD)


Tá fearadh na fáilte romhat go Roinn na Gaeilge, Coláiste Naomh Cillian! Welcome to St Killian’s Irish Department!

The Irish Language is the cornerstone of Irish culture, music, history and traditions and it is through learning our native tongue that we can truly appreciate our Irish roots. The Irish department believes in nurturing this and in providing enrichment of our unique culture and identity through learning our native language.

The study of Irish is offered to all students from Years 8 to 14 through an interactive, stimulating and challenging programme of language, literature and culture. Formal learning is complemented by a range of extracurricular activities which promote the enjoyment and application of the language.

Pupils are entered for quizzes, debates and Gaeltacht scholarship competitions on a regular basis and it is the Department’s aim to encourage students to develop a love for and pride in the culture and language. Students are also encouraged to use Irish as a means of communication as often as possible and to visit the Gaeltacht.

“Beatha Teanga í a Labhairt”

Key Stage 3

From Year 8, pupils are immersed in the speaking of Irish, and encouraged to converse with their teacher and other Gaeilgeoirí in Irish both inside and outside the classroom. These efforts are rewarded in each class monthly, when a pupil in each class is chosen for the ‘Gaeilgeoir na Míosa’ Award, recognising pupils’ efforts.

At KS3, pupils develop their knowledge in the following topics, and emphasis is placed on the spoken language so that they become confident and fluent speakers:

Year 8:

Year 9:

Year 10:


The Time

The Classroom

Myself and My Family


Days of the Week

Months of the Year

Home Life


Food and Drink

Health and Lifestyle



An Ghaeltacht



At the end of Y8, pupils are provided with an opportunity to sit their ‘Cúpla Focal’ exam. This exam gives students a great sense of achievement and they wear their Cúpla Focal badge with pride. Y10 pupils are provided with an opportunity to sit their ‘Fáinne Airgid’ exam. This exam marks a significant milestone in students’ learning of Irish and encourages them to speak Irish whenever they can.

Key Stage 4 and 5

GCSE Irish is offered in St Killian’s to all students who have chosen to learn Irish in Y9 and 10. The course aims to encourage students to:

· derive enjoyment and benefit from language learning and be inspired by following a broad, coherent and worthwhile course of study;

· recognise that their linguistic knowledge, understanding and skills provide them with a suitable basis for further learning opportunities and opportunities for career progression;

· develop knowledge of and an enthusiasm for language learning skills by providing opportunities for the practical use of Irish;

· develop the confidence to communicate effectively in Irish;

· develop the ability to work independently and with others;

· develop an understanding of Irish in a variety of contexts;

· develop awareness and understanding of Irish-speaking countries and communities;

· take their place as citizens in a multilingual, global society.

As well as GCSE Irish, St Killian’s offers GCSE Gaeilge to students who have attended a bunscoil. These students are offered the opportunity to sit their GCSE in Irish at the end of Y10, and then study for GCSE Gaeilge in Y11 and 12. GCSE Gaeilge allows these students to further their level of fluency, as well as achieve an extra GCSE in Irish, and thereby equipping them with even more skills in the language.


Irish is available to all students who have sat GCSE Irish. At this level, students develop their knowledge on four key themes: in Y13 these themes are Relationships and Culture and Lifestyle, and Young People in Society and Our Place in a Changing World in Y14. They are also expected to build on the themes and topics explored at GCSE.

Clubs, Trips, Links

Slíte Beatha – Careers

Irish is a growing language, and career opportunities for graduates of Irish vary from teaching to working at the top of the pay scale in the European Union:

· European Union jobs as legal linguists, translators, interpreters with excellent financial rewards

· Local and National Government

· GAA, for example in the Ulster Council and as Irish Language Officers within GAA Clubs

· Media - for example with BBC Gaeilge, TG4 and other media outlets.

· Irish Language organisations, for example, Foras na Gaeilge, Conradh an Gaeilge, An Dream Dearg who all seek to promote the Irish Language all over Ireland and beyond.

· Teaching – both in the Irish Medium Sector and in post-primary schools.

Imeachtaí Seach-Churaclaim Extra-Curricular Activities

Pupils at St Killian’s can avail from a wide range of Extra-Curricular Activities in the Irish Department, throughout the school year:

· Attendance at the summer Gaeltacht courses is encouraged from Y8 and opportunities for Scholarships are facilitated in school. This provides students with an opportunity to meet other Gaeilgeoirí, be totally immersed in the language, and develop their skills and confidence in the language.

· An Cumann Gaelach is the Irish Club, where pupils are invited to the Irish classroom over lunch and participate in various activities, including games, songs, and drama.

· Gaeilge 24 is a national campaign where all Gaeilgeoirí are encouraged to speak Irish for a day.

· Guest speakers coming in to talk to pupils about careers with Irish.

· There are many other activities that students can participate in during Seachtain na Gaeilge, for example, Ceilí, Lá Glas, Tráth na gCeist. All of these activities provide enrichment of the language in an informal setting, and allow pupils and teachers to develop their skills, create positive relationships and become more fluent in the language.