Irish Exemption


An exemption from the study of Irish means that a student attending a primary or post-primary school is not required to study Irish. There are certain limited circumstances whereby an exemption may be granted.  The authority to grant an exemption has been delegated to school management.

Public Consultation on the future direction of policy on the granting of exemptions from the study of Irish

Consultation: Consultation Paper on the Future Direction of Exemptions from the Study of Irish

In line with its commitment to consultation, the Department would like to invite you to participate in a survey comprising two parts (Section 1: a short online survey and Section 2Part B: a submission form for more detailed response) and share your views on the proposed key changes presented in the draft revised circulars and on the learning of Irish more generally as we prepare our pupils/students for 21st century learning.

The survey can be accessed here:

The Closing date for receipt of completed surveys has been extended to Friday, 18 January 2019 at 5.00PM.

If you would like to submit further information to  expand on your comments in the survey, these can be sent to the following dedicated email address.

In considering your response, you may wish to consult the Report “Review of Policy and Practice in Relation to Exemptions from the Study of Irish

How to apply, and where to apply for an exemption from the study of Irish.

A written application for an exemption is made by the parent or guardian to the school principal on behalf of their child.  The application should state the reasons why the exemption is being sought. A child will only be considered for an exemption where his/her educational circumstances come within the provisions of the primary circular in the case of a primary school going child or the post primary circular in the case of a post primary child.