Newsletter #41: March 2018

The Certificate in Professional Irish course going from strength to strength

2017 was another excellent year for the Certificate in Professional Irish, Gaelchultúr’s course for public sector employees interested in improving their spoken Irish skills. The course, which is recognised by QQI, celebrated five years in existence and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar TD was one of several hundred students to be awarded the certificate during the year.

An Taoiseach attended the Level 4 course during the spring semester and he was among seventy people to be awarded the certificate at an event which took place in the Mansion House in Dublin on 7 September.

Other special guests at the event included Lord Mayor of Dublin Mícheál Mac Donncha, Dublin City Council CEO Owen Keegan and CEO of Foras na Gaeilge, Seán Ó Coinn.

Speaking during the event, the Taoiseach said that it was “a source of great pride” for him to have gained the certificate and that he wanted to “set a good example” as regards using the Irish language. He said that he was on a “language journey” and invited others to follow his example and join him on that journey.

Speaking in Irish, the Taoiseach said: “I made a decision at the beginning of the year to undertake the Certificate in Professional Irish because I wanted to improve my standard of Irish. I studied the language at school, of course, but like a lot of people in this country I haven’t had many opportunities to use it since then and was therefore out of practice. As I said in the Dáil several months ago, I have a great love for our national language, and for the past few years I’ve made a great effort to improve my Irish.”

The Irish Language Commissioner Rónán Ó Domhnaill, who presented the certificate to the Taoiseach and the other recipients, congratulated Mr Varadkar on completing the course and for leading by example as regards the language.

The Taoiseach attended a three-hour class every Wednesday morning between February and the beginning of May of last year. The classes were held in Gaelchultúr’s education centre on Clare Street in Dublin city centre and fourteen other students, from a range of organisations, also attended the sessions.

Mr Varadkar’s end-of-course oral exam took place on Wednesday, 17 May – the day Enda Kenny announced that he was resigning as Taoiseach.

“The Taoiseach worked extremely hard during the course,” says Éamonn Ó Dónaill, Gaelchultúr’s Director of Education. “He attended every single class and did all the continuous assessment tasks given to the students. He really applied himself and took the course very seriously.”

“It’s psychologically important for the Irish language community to have a Taoiseach in charge of the country who has respect for the language – it will add greatly to the status of the language to have such a powerful and influential figure taking such an interest in it.”

The TGG began again this week in Gaelchultúr and the live online classes will commence shortly, but the course can be run within an organisation at any time. The company is currently carrying out assessments in organisations all over the country.

For more information or to download a digital brochure, please click here.

Contact Michelle Seoighe, Gaelchultúr’s Sales and Marketing Manager ( or 01 484 5225), at any time for more information or to arrange an assessment for yourself or for a colleague.