The Department of Irish is a thriving department which draws on a proud tradition, over 100 years old, of teaching Irish. Students gain practical knowledge and skills in Irish language and literature through the study of key texts and also through closely developed links with Gaeltacht areas. Staff and students alike make an invaluable contribution to the life of the Irish language community through their extensive participation in research, Irish language media and cultural groups.
The journal of academic research in Irish, Taighde agus Teagasc, has been developed by members of the Irish department and Irish-medium Education and a highly successful annual conference has drawn participants from all over Ireland. Students are also encouraged to contribute, and many have had work published in Taighde agus Teagasc, Lá and An tUltach, while an equal number have been involved in the local Irish radio station, Ráidió Fáilte and BBC Radio Ulster’s Blas.
Students of Irish at St Mary’s have traditionally taken up teaching posts in the primary sector although many have also gone on to teach Irish at secondary level. In addition to this, the College is proud of the pioneering work done by our graduates and post-graduates in the burgeoning Irish-medium Education sector. The provision of high quality initial teacher education is a key priority for the Irish Department and the demand for new teachers in the Irish-medium sector, particularly, is very high.