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Students angry at all-Irish demand

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Students at Pobalscoil Chorca Dhuibhne stage a protest over the all-Irish policy

Students at Pobalscoil Chorca Dhuibhne stage a protest over the all-Irish policy

Students at Pobalscoil Chorca Dhuibhne stage a protest over the all-Irish policy

Scores of pupils protested yesterday against a controversial all-Irish policy at their school.

The students at the Kerry school say they are finding it difficult to learn because it is not their first language and they are not fluent in the language.

The Irish Independent revealed in August that one female student from Russia had to stop attending Pobalscoil Chorca Dhuibhne in Dingle because of the recently introduced all-Irish policy.

That decision means that Anastasia Lyamina (15) is currently travelling 30 miles from Dingle to Tralee each day to go to school. She had previously done her Junior Cert through English at the Presentation school.

"There are a lot of students out there on protest this morning," Tom Geaney, who has two children in the pobalscoil, said yesterday.

"A lot of them in class feel that they don't understand what's being taught to them. They're having difficulty with the strict all-Irish policy.

"They feel it's very restrictive and don't fully understand what's happening within the class."

Parents at the school have already petitioned Education Minister Mary Hanafin to reintroduce English in the community school which replaced a Christian Brothers' school for boys and a Presentation school for girls from this term. Neither of those schools had taught exclusively through Irish, but they were classified as all-Irish and were given bigger grants.

However, Irish language speakers in Dingle, which is officially part of the Gaeltacht, are determined that the new school will only use Irish.

Padraig Firtear, principal of the pobalscoil, declined to comment on the protest by students which continued for the duration of the school day yesterday, and which could be repeated later today.

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