General overview of Junior Cycle Irish

The Junior Cycle Irish Specifications T1 and T2 are available by clicking here.

Specification for Irish-medium schools (T1)
Specification for English-medium schools (T2)

NCCA are currently reviewing the literature lists for Junior Cycle Irish T1 and T2. To suggest a literary text for consideration, click on the appropriate link below.

Suggested texts for the Junior Cycle T1 literature lists

Suggested texts for the Junior Cycle T2 literature lists

New subject specifications for Junior Cycle Irish T1 and T2 were introduced in schools in September 2017 as part of Phase 3 of the introduction of new subject specifications. SEALBHÚ (DCU) conducted an early insights review between February and June 2022 on behalf of the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA). The purpose of the early enactment review was to collect feedback on the following key issues:

  • How well the specifications get to the heart of the learning aspired to within Junior Cycle Irish, L1 and L2 and more broadly within the Framework for Junior Cycle?
  • The classroom-based assessments outlined within the specifications, as experienced by students and teachers.
  • The many ways teachers are using their professional judgements to mediate the new specifications in their schools and classrooms.
  • Experience of students and teachers of differentiated provision at Junior Cycle level.
  • Perspectives on the transition from Junior Cycle Irish to Senior Cycle Irish for this cohort and future cohorts.
  • Other topics that emerged in the research.


Report on the Early Enactment Review of Junior Cycle Irish T1 and T2

Note detailing the main changes to Junior Cycle Irish T1 and T2

Background Paper:

The Background Paper and Brief for Irish which was approved by NCCA Council for public consultation in October 2013 can be found here.

Background Paper for Irish

The development of the subject specification is informed by the Information Document. A brief account is given of Irish as a school subject and of the developments which have influenced the shaping of the subject over the years. Topics discussed include:

  • responses to the current syllabus
  • objectives for the teaching and learning of Irish
  • developments in other countries that would be comparable in a way to Irish.

Subsequently, the proposed direction for the development of the specification is set out in the Brief.


Draft Specification:


In February 2015 the NCCA Council approved the draft specification for Irish for consultation.

A public consultation was held from March 2015 to May 2015. Feedback led to a decision to build on the consultation until October 2015 to allow for a deeper examination and reflection on the direction of provision itself.

The draft specification from 2015 can be found here.

Draft Specification for Irish


Development Group:

The Development Group for Irish plays a key role in shaping the NCCA's advice to the Minister for Education and Skills regarding the curriculum specification for Junior Cycle Irish. To this end, the remits and timeline as set out at Council level are adhered to by:

  • providing opinions on a range of draft documents, and by improving them
  • ensuring that the nominating organisations are kept informed of issues and developments
  • ensuring that the views/policies of the nominating organisations are represented when the matter is discussed
  • supporting the consultation processes at key stages of the development process



Consultation Process:

The Draft Specification for Irish was approved by the Council for consultation in February 2015. The consultation process was launched in March and continued until May 2015. Feedback was sought from the education and Irish language stakeholders as well as the general public in various ways through the process, namely:

  • online questionnaire
  • consultation event
  • focus groups with second level students
  • focus groups with ITE (third level) students (Initial Teacher Education)
  • written submissions.

The consultation process was launched on 12 March 2015 with a consultation event in Dublin Castle and continued until May 2015.

A Consultation Report has been compiled which is available below.


Feedback from the Consultation:

This consultation established the importance of supporting teachers in dealing with challenges and pedagogical changes that may be faced when enacting the specification if the aims and vision of the specification are to be achieved.

There was also a strong emphasis on the importance of continuity for Irish language learners from primary to post-primary.

Attention was focused on the need to further explore possibilities for greater differentiation in learning, teaching and assessment for Irish language learners in both L1 and L2 contexts.

As a result of the feedback received, it was decided to build on the consultation to discuss and explore the above elements.

A report on the consultation process for Irish at Junior Cycle (2015) is available here.

Consultation report for Irish