A very fair, varied paper. A number of the topics that appeared on the paper such as alcohol, drugs, the state of the language and the educational system, would have been prepared by students for the recent oral exam.
Section A: Essay
There was a nice range of tittles here. The following topics appeared:
– This is the age of modern technology
– Alcohol and drugs- great problems in Ireland
– Major stories of today
– Advantages and disadvantages of travel
– The state of the Irish language
Option C, Major stories of today, was a particularly nice question. It gave excellent flexibility to students, and provided they saw the potential in the question, they could have used topics that they had prepared but that were not directly asked on the paper. Topical issues such as the water charges and homelessness could have been used.
Section B- Story
The topics that came up were Pride and the sean fhocal was Far off hills are green.
Unlike last year’s paper, students would have had no difficulty with the sean fhocal, as it is a widely used phrase and they would know the meaning.
Section C- Debate or a Speech
Quite an unusual theme came up for the debate, dealing with the progress that woman in Ireland have made in recent years. This could have proved challenging as students would be required to have specific knowledge on specific women. The speech was on how good or bad the educational system in Ireland is. This was a very accessible topic that students would have prepared a few weeks ago for the oral exam.