Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Oideachas tréGhaeilge.

28. D'fhiafraigh

den Aire Oideachais cén dul chun chinn atá déanta maidir le oideachais tré Ghaeilge a chur ar fáil do dhaltaíscoile i gceantar Bhaile Munna, Baile Átha Cliath.

29.

asked the Minister for Education if he intends to provide an all-Irish school in Ballymun, County Dublin; and, if so, when.

Le do chead, a Cheann Comhairle, tógfaidh mé ceisteanna 28 agus 29 le chéile.

Tá scoil lán-Ghaelach bunaithe i mBaile Munna do pháistí idir aois a cúig agus a seacht go hachomair, agus tá sí ag feidhmiú ó 17 Meán Fómhair, 1971. Tá cúram dá dhéanamh cheana féin de cheist forbairt na scoile ag ceann na scoilbhliana reatha agus de na gníomharthaí is gá chuige seo.

An all-Irish school for pupils between the ages of five and seven years approximately has been established in Ballymun and has been in operation since 17th September, 1971. The question of the further development of the school as from the end of the present school-year and the measures required in this regard are already receiving attention.

An féidir linn a bheith cinnte má bhíonn leathnú ar an éileamh seo i gceantar Bhaile Munna go mbeidh an Roinn sásta an t-éileamh sin a shásamh?

Tá áthas orm go bhfuil an t-éileamh sin ann agus má leathnaítear an t-éileamh tig leat a bheith cinnte go mbeimíd sásta pé cuidiú is féidir linn a thabhairt.

Is the Minister aware that certain people living in the vicinity of the all-Irish school in Ballymun are experiencing considerable difficulty in getting their children into the school?

The Deputy is aware of what has happened in relation to this school. There is a very small number of families outside the parish who want to get their children into the school. In one case the parents are sending their children to an all-Irish school. The school in my view is very satisfactory.

Surely the Minister is aware of the inadequacy of the facilities where they are only taking the children between the ages of five and seven and could we not have an extension? This proposal was put very sensibly to the Minister by the committee in Ballymun that was set up to obtain their constitutional rights and have their children educated through the Irish language?

I assure the Deputy I am only too willing to facilitate the parents in Ballymun in having their children educated through the medium of Irish—delighted, in fact.

Why is it confined to children between five and seven?

I am surprised at the point raised by Deputy FitzGerald. Obviously in this area prior to this the children were being educated through the medium of English and it would be rather difficult to transfer from English to Irish after a certain age, so in my view the proper thing to do was to start with the younger children and develop from there.

Is the Minister saying that even if the parents are confident that their children are able to make the change at a later age and are willing to do so he will frustrate them in that? I have never heard the theory put forward before that people cannot take up education through a different language after the age of seven. Having myself made the switch backwards and forwards at a later age with lots of other children in Ring College, I cannot understand why.

That accounts for a lot.

It may, indeed, but I cannot understand why the Minister should say it is impossible and if the parents want this why can they not have it? Why should the Minister stand in the way? It has nothing to do with him.

I have no doubt that the parents will be quite satisfied with the system we are now operating.

Question No. 30.

The Minister's attitude towards education through Irish is hypocritical.

(Interruptions.)

I assure the Deputy I am less hypocritical than others who talk about education through Irish.

Why is the Minister frustrating them then?

I am not frustrating them.