The answer given by Enda Kenny to the student Francis Whelan on Pat Kenny's show on Irish as a core subject in the Leaving Cert:
"I love the language. What I want to say here is my whole thrust here is to strengthen the language and what I want to do is examine first of all the content of the curriculum and see if it is relevant for future needs.
Secondly examine seriously the impact of the investment that we are making in the training of our teachers to teach the language. Language is about sounds, music, words, it should be something that should be loved and if it is by primary school children then they don't have a difficulty with it up along the line.
So far from weakening the language or doing it down, I actually want to strengthen it in the sense that there are hundreds of thousands of people in this country who spent 12-13-14 years studying this language and cannot put 5 sentences together and we've had 60 years of defence behind compulsion. Irish people have always rejected compulsion.
Its time for us to grow up on these matters and my belief is if we teach this properly, if we have a relevant curriculum , people love the language and they take it right through to leaving cert and it becomes much more important for everybody.
And I respect the views on both sides here Pat. TG4, RnaG, many of the language movements do great work but we should not hide behind the defence of something that has failed.
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