Exam Review: Irish (H)

by Samantha Hogan, Yeats Irish teacher

A well–balanced Irish Paper One with a tricky Listening Comprehension, yet very understandable essay titles.

The topics on the Listening Comprehension were pretty much in line with previous years. Excerpts were based on everything from climate change to the Irish Language to homelessness to Croke Park! Advanced vocabulary was nicely interwoven with more basic vocabulary which gave students of all standards of Irish a chance to shine. However, the dialogue was certainly fast in places, which required the second listen to fully secure your answer and let’s not forget there were two spicy excerpts in Donegal Irish, which some students tend not to be a fan of! One other point that must be acknowledged is that the timing between segments appeared to be shorter than in some other years.

The essay titles were very student-friendly and there really was something for everybody. Students were delighted with topics like Society today; Ireland and International Affairs, and the power of Social Media.

Both language skills and indeed application skills were required in the Ceapadóireacht this year.

Moving on to Irish Paper Two, luckily, there were no major twists or turns this year. The Comprehensions contained two interesting reads on the role of Artificial Intelligence in our lives together with the progression of the Islands off the Coast of Ireland.

The standard of questions asked was challenging in places for sure, but the language used in the texts was quite standard compared to previous years so this will have balanced things out nicely. No surprises in 6(a) or 6(b) questions. Students will have been familiar with the 6(a) from previous years, and the nature of the 6(b) question is an ‘in your own words’ analysis.

In terms of literature, this really was the year of Caitlín Maude! Her poem Géibheann made a highly anticipated appearance in the Filíocht section, as did the drama An Lasair Choille in the Prós section. Students were thrilled with these questions.

Of course, the other alternatives were An tEarrach Thiar and Dís, which should not have proven any great difficulty either for students who pursued that route.

Finally, a real crowd-pleaser question for A Thig Ná Tit Orm this year. A fabulous general question on the life of the people in the Kerry Gaeltacht as told in Maidhc Dainín’s account in the autobiography. Students were happy with this question.