Irish Paper 2 (H): A Student Friendly Paper With Clear And Manageable Phraseology

Leaving Cert Irish Paper 2 (H) Review

Reaction to 2024 Leaving Certificate Irish Paper 2 (Higher Level) by Clare Grealy, Irish teacher at The Institute of Education.

  • An accessible paper with clear and manageable phraseology
  • Shows the importance of familiarity with past papers

Students will be delighted to see a paper without hidden twists or turns. The phraseology was straightforward, so students knew exactly what was being asked of them. The first léamthuiscint was on island life and would have been very familiar to students. This traditional topic was contrasted with the theme of the second léamthuiscint: “An Intleacht Shaorga”, Artificial Intelligence. This topic was so contemporary that many students may have overlooked the relevant vocabulary in their preparation but those who grasped the title found it repeated throughout. While the topic may have been challenging to some, the questions were approachable and clear, asking for students to take directly from the text.

The prose section will have delighted many as the anticipated “Cáca Milis” appeared with a very accessible question. Many will be surprised to see “Dís” appear for the second year in a row, so students who were studying strategically may have found themselves without choice in this section. Thankfully both questions were very convenient and so everyone should have found something that suited them.

For poetry, students who were diligent in their revision of the past papers will be pleased to see “An tEarrach Thiar” making its fifth appearance in 12 years. If students had practiced the questions from 2012, 2016, and 2019 they will recognise the near verbatim repetition on this paper. Part (iii)’s focus on adjectives was more technical than many may have hoped but this acted as the challenge to better distinguish the top scorers. The other poem, “Géibheann”, would normally be perceived as easier by the students, but will likely be the less appealing of the two options in the exam today. The emphasis on contrast with the narrowed focus on the animal limited the more confident student’s ability to discuss the allegorical and metaphorical aspects of the poem.

Question 4A on the influence of shame in An Triail was a hand in glove combination of the character studies that the students would have prepared. The question was clear in the need to discuss characters plural (“na pearsana”), so that students were guided towards what was required. Those planning to do the Dánta Breise will have had a moment of shock at the appearance of “Fill Arís”, but that would have turned to delight in seconds as they read the questions. This is the fourth time “Fill Arís” has appeared, and the third time the same question on theme has been asked. Again, those who worked through previous papers will find a reassuring familiarity in this question. The other questions on the metaphor of the door and the effect of the language orders should have posed no problems.

In the end, this paper was very student friendly and offered a fair opportunity to reflect their previous work.