Irish Paper 2

After a challenging first paper, higher-level Irish students will feel “relieved” with a second paper that is fair and manageable, according to teachers.

A Fair and Accessible Exam

“I believe many students will leave the exam hall with a smile,” said Clare Grealy, an Irish teacher at the Institute of Education.

The second paper was designed to be fair, accessible, and student-friendly. It included expected texts and questions, rewarding those who had prepared. There were no unnecessary complications, focusing instead on allowing students to demonstrate their engagement with the texts.

“Instead of frustration, students felt a sigh of relief when they opened this paper. It was what they expected and prepared for. The questions were clear, accessible, and fair, in contrast to yesterday’s first paper,” Grealy added.

Linda Dolan, an Irish teacher at Mercy College, Sligo, and a subject expert at, also found the paper manageable.

“Students would have been relieved after possibly feeling disheartened by yesterday’s exam,” Dolan said.

Literature Questions and Poetry

Students were pleased to find the highly anticipated literature questions in the exam. The prós section included “Oisín i dTír na nÓg” and “Dís,” as predicted, with both texts featuring straightforward questions.

Grealy noted that the poetry section met expectations and continued the trend of asking students to provide personal responses to the material.

However, Dolan mentioned that “An Spailpín Fánach” in the filíocht (poetry) section contained some challenging vocabulary.

“It tested the students’ abilities. Undoubtedly, ‘Mo Ghrá-sa’ was the most popular choice as it had more student-friendly language,” Dolan explained.

Reading Comprehension and Grammar

According to Grealy, the two léamhthuiscint (Reading Comprehension) texts were clear and concise.

“The passages on explorer Tom Crean and the European Year of the Youth didn’t pose significant challenges to the students,” Grealy stated.

“The grammar questions followed the format of previous years, so they were familiar to those who had revised past papers,” she added.

Grealy also praised the question on the negative impact of characters in the play “An Triail,” as it is commonly studied in most schools.

“This topic is familiar to anyone studying the play, so I am sure many students will leave the exam hall with a smile,” Grealy concluded.

Ordinary Level Exam

Regarding the ordinary level paper, Dolan mentioned that it was “well-received” by students.

“The paper covered topical subjects such as rugby and the Ukrainian war in the comprehension section. The preferred poem ‘Géibheann’ was included in the filíocht section, with ‘An t-Earrach Thiar’ being the other option,” Dolan explained.

“The three choices in the prós section were straightforward, and students with a good understanding of the literature would have been able to excel. Overall, it was a very straightforward and student-centered exam,” she added.

Try this one at home

For those interested, you can attempt the following exam paper at home:

  • Leaving Cert Irish (higher) paper two
  • “An Triail”
  • “‘Sa dráma An Triail, léiríonn go leor de na carachtair (na pearsana) dearcadh diúltach míthrócaireach ar chás na máthar neamhphósta, Máire Ní Chathasaigh, in Éirinn sna seascaidí.’ Déan plé ar an ráiteas sin.”

For more information about Irish language and literature, visit Quill And Fox.