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Roinn na Gaeilge / Irish Department

The Irish Department in Thornhill College is a thriving and highly successful Modern Language Department. The study of Irish is offered to all students from Years 8-14 through an inter-active, stimulating and challenging programme of language, literature and culture. Formal learning is complemented by a range of extra-curricular activities which promote the enjoyment and application of the language.


The number of pupils studying the language in Thornhill right up to Year 14 is significant. At present 135 pupils study Irish for GCSE and 51 pupils study the language at AS and A2 level.There are 3 full-time teachers of Irish in a well resourced and highly motivated department.

Pupils are entered for Feiseanna, quizzes, debates and Gaeltacht scholarship competitions on a regular basis and it is the Department’s aim to encourage students to develop a love for and pride in the culture and language. Students are also encouraged to use Irish as a means of communication as often as possible and to visit the Gaeltacht.

Our pupils often achieve top places in public examinations and competitions.

Ashbourne Shield Winners


2016 Bua!  Sciath Mhic Giolla Bhríde!  The Irish Department has won the Ashbourne Shield - for the most fluent students in Irish at A2 in Northern Ireland.  As a result, Gaeltacht scholarships totalling £900 have also been won. 

Well done to all the 14 students who represented the school in this competition and the prestigious Ashbourne Shield was recently presented. 

Thornhill College has previously won the shield in 1967, 1969, 1975, 1981, 1986, 1992, 1993, 2003, 2012 and now in 2016, for a record 10th time.  Labhair í is mairfidh sí! 

Gael-Linn Quiz

2016-17:   Maith sibh!   Congratulations to the Thornhill team which won first place at the Irish Language Table Quiz in the White Horse Hotel.  The members of the winning team, from 10H and 10D, are Eava Hudson, Rachel Tracey, Anna O’Hagan and Clare McCorkell.

Bhí na cailíní uilig ag damhsa agus ag ceol agus fosta tá siad iontach cliste! J  Well done to all involved, in particular on your great behaviour. You can all be very proud of how well you represented the school especially the singing and dancing!  

An Club Céilí

An Club Céilí meets every week and is very popular with the pupils. It is a chance to have a bit of fun and to learn some traditional dances.

The dances we learn include:

  • Tonnaí Thoraigh/The Waves of Tory;
  • Ballaí Luimnigh/The Walls of Limerick;
  • Ionsaí na hInse/Siege of Ennis;
  • Ríl bheirte/2-Hand Reel;
  • Shoe the Donkey !

Everyone looks forward to the school Céilí in March and we always enjoy the Lumen Christi Céilí in November. All pupils in Years 8-10 are invited to come along to the Club each Monday at lunchtime in the gym. 

Beidh fáilte romhat.  Múinteoir: Miss. Faulkner.

Other Activities

Annual events include:

  • Gael Linn Public Speaking Competition;
  • Gael Linn Public Table Quiz;
  • Ashbourne Shield;
  • Fáinne Airgid/Silver Fáinne Presentations;
  • Gaeltacht Bursaries



     200Affilitation School The Lyric Theatre

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