Monday 26 September 2016

Irish students believe 1916 leaders would not be proud of how Ireland is run today

Published 24/03/2016 | 12:00

Teacher Luke Saunders with Studyclix users, from right to left, Siobhan Alexander, Kieran Massie and Stephen Hallinan
Teacher Luke Saunders with Studyclix users, from right to left, Siobhan Alexander, Kieran Massie and Stephen Hallinan

Almost half of Irish students think that the leaders of Ireland 100 years ago would not be proud of how the country is run today.

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While an incredible 78pc of schoolchildren are proud of the 1916 Easter Rising, and almost the same number (73pc) believe that the men and women were right to rebel for independence, some 46pc feel that the 1916 leaders would be concerned at how Ireland is being run today.

More than 1,000 teenage students in 5th and 6th year were questioned in the National Student Centenary Survey - and the results have been revealed ahead of this weekend's centenary festivities.

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But good news for Irish pride, however, as a whopping 93pc of schoolchildren across the country said that they were proud to be Irish.

Unfortunately this enthusiasm doesn't extend to the Irish language, however, with over a third (39pc) believing that Irish should not be a compulsory subject.

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Teacher Luke Saunders said it was clear that young people have concerns about their Irish identity and their interaction with the national language.

“I wasn't surprised to see that 37pc of students believed Irish should not be a compulsory subject,” said Mr Saunders.

“From my experience, both as a teacher and through setting up Studyclix, I have found Irish to be a very polarising subject. Some students see it as a badge of honour to be able to hold a conversation 'as Gaeilge' while others resent having to study what they feel is a dead language."

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The worst things about being Irish were also discussed by the teens, with exam pressure and college points race highlighted - and global stereotypes of 'drunk Irish'.

"One of the most surprising aspects of the survey was students’ responses to the question of what is the worst thing about being Irish. More than one in four students referred to some aspect of our nation's relationship with alcohol and our drinking culture,” said Mr Sanders.

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The 1916 survey was carried out by Studyclix.ie

 

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