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Every year, Gaeloideachas collates statistics from naíonraí outside Gaeltacht areas and from Irish-medium and Gaeltacht schools. These statistics help us to strategically plan for the development of Irish-medium education, to cater for the sector’s requirements and to provide effective support for naíonraí and schools.

Our aim is to provide accurate and comprehensive information on the sector to the public. We publish overall statistics, and it is our policy not to publish information relating to a particular naíonra or school, or to pass such information on to a third party without the prior written consent of the naíonra or school concerned. 


160 naíonraí outside the Gaeltacht provided statistics to Gaeloideachas for the 2018-19 school year. This information gives us an insight into a vibrant sector and the huge demand for its services. These naíonraí provide 287 preschool sessions. Places in naíonraí are in huge demand – 64% of naíonraí have waiting lists. Almost one third of naíonraí are community services, 61% are private services. A total of 4980 children attend these naíonraí. This means that almost 4% of the total number of children in the country aged 3-6 who attend early-years services are attending naíonraí outside the Gaeltacht! Of these children, 3% speak Irish at home and a further 3% have a home language that is neither Irish nor English. 94% of the childrespeak English at home. 3% of children in the naíonraí have additional needs, either physical, intellectual, or both. 

Naíonraí 2018 19

  • 160 naíonraí outside the Gaeltacht, providing 287 sessions 
  • 64% have waiting lists (102/160) 
  • 29% are community services (47/160) 
  • 37% are co-located with Irish-medium schools (59/160) 
  • 98% participate in the ECCE scheme (157/160) 
  • 611 naíonra teachers, 56% (344) full-time and 44% (267) part-time 
  • 15% with TEG qualifications (92/611) 
  • 4980 children 
  • 3% with another home language (131/4980) 
  • 3% with Irish at home (155/4980) 
  • 3% with Special Educational Needs (163/4980) 

Primary Schools

The number of pupils being taught through Irish in primary school in the Republic of Ireland have reached record high levels in the 2018/19 school year. Irish as the primary language of education has risen steadily from 6.4 per cent of primary pupils in 2000 to 8.1 per cent in 2018/19. Department of Education & Skills’ statistics show that almost one in 12 schoolchildren at primary level are receiving their education through Irish. 

26 co. outside Gaeltacht


26 co. total

6 co. total














Post-primary Schools

Department of Education & Skills statistics for the Republic of Ireland show that 3.6% of pupils were taught through the medium of Irish in the 2018/19 school year. 

26 Co. outside Gaeltacht


26 Co. total

6 Co. total













Gaelscoil4all Campaign

Feachtas na Scoileanna Nua

DEIS Schools

29% of all Irish-medium and Gaeltacht primary schools in the Republic of Ireland have DEIS status, a total of 72 schools in the 2017-18 school year. 

12.5% of all Irish-medium and Gaeltacht post-primary schools in the Republic of Ireland have DEIS status, a total of 9 schools in the 2017-18 school year. 

The DEIS programme aims to address the educational needs of children and young people from disadvantaged communities. Schools participating in DEIS receive extra resources and supports. These include more staff, funding and access to various literacy and numeracy programmes. Some schools also have access to the Home School Community Liaison Scheme and the School Completion Programme.

Further information on DEIS is available from the Department of Education and Skills

Special Education

Irish-medium and Gaeltacht schools routinely cater for children with physical and intellectual disabilities; sight and hearing difficulties, Autism spectrum disorders, dyslexia, and other special education needs.

5% of all Irish-medium and Gaeltacht primary schools in the Republic of Ireland have a special class or ASD unit, a total of 13 schools in the 2017-18 school year.

6% of all Irish-medium and Gaeltacht post-primary schools in the Republic of Ireland have a special class or ASD unit, a total of 4 schools in the 2017-18 school year.

Further information on education provision and supports for young people with SEN is available on the website of the National Council for Special Education

Additional sources of information:

  • An Roinn Oideachais & Scileanna (schools)
  • Pobal (geographical information system) At Gaeloideachas’ request, a question regarding the language of provision will be included in the Pobal questionnaire from 2019 on. This will help to give a fuller picture of the Irish-medium early-years sector, and support Gaeloideachas’ lobbying for the rights and fair treatment of the naíonraí outside the Gaeltacht. 
  • Comhar Naíonraí na Gaeltachta (naíonraí in Gaeltacht areas)
  • Comhairle na Gaelscolaíochta (naíscoileanna and Irish-medium schools in the north)
  • Early Childhood Ireland (early-years services)