Connect with us


Language exemptions can impact college applications




Language exemptions are granted to students with specific learning difficulties affecting language acquisition and this can happen in primary or secondary school.

Exemptions for college entry may also be granted to students who were born outside of Ireland or had a minimum amount of their education abroad. See for details.

There can be some confusion around how language exemptions impact on college applications and it is very important that students and parents are clear on what they need to do at this stage to make sure that the CAO is aware of an exemption. Every year there are applicants who are disappointed on the day of the CAO First Round offers because they don’t receive an offer in spite having the required points. One of the reasons why this can happen is because an applicant has forgotten to process their language exemption. They often assume that having an exemption from language in school means that colleges and universities are aware of that, but this is not the case.

Some, but not all, Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) have general entry requirements regarding languages other than English and they are not the same in all colleges and universities. It is important to note that the language requirements are not in place for all programmes in these HEIs so it is really imperative that applicants check the general entry requirements and specific course requirements for the programmes they are applying for.

There are four universities that come under the National University of Ireland (NUI); UCC, UCD, Maynooth University and NUI Galway, as well as member institutions which include Royal College of Surgeons, St Angela’s College, Sligo and National College of Art and Design. To apply for exemptions from any NUI college you need to complete the relevant form which can be downloaded from and post it back to NUI. It is recommended that you do this 21 days after opening your CAO account but if you haven’t done so, it is not too late. CAO are notified of the exemption by NUI and it should appear on your CAO account one month after being processed. To apply for language exemptions for courses in Trinity College (TCD), UL or Mary Immaculate College, you will need to contact the relevant Admissions Offices directly. Exemptions for TCD should appear on your CAO account by the end of May. You will receive a Statement of Application Record in May from CAO instructing you to check all your details including language exemptions, which are recorded in the Qualifications and Assessments section. If it is not there you will need to contact CAO immediately. CAO do not record exemptions granted by UL or Mary I so contact their Admission Offices directly for guidance.

Niamh Dwyer is a Guidance Counsellor in Scoil Phobail Sliabh Luachra, Rathmore, and Chairperson of the Kerry Branch of Guidance Counsellors. She is also a Career Consultant. For details see

Continue Reading


Comedy drama ready for the stage

By Michelle Crean Get out your diary and book in these December dates as Dochas Drama Group is ready to take to the stage. What does a hypochondriac, a grumpy […]




By Michelle Crean

Get out your diary and book in these December dates as Dochas Drama Group is ready to take to the stage.

What does a hypochondriac, a grumpy father and a confused visitor to the dentist, all have in common? You’ll have to come along to the Killarney Avenue Hotel on Monday, December 12, Tuesday 13 and Wednesday 14 at 8pm to find out.

The popular drama group will present their three new comedies featuring the work of playwrights Brian Bowler, Ger Madden and Mary Quirke.Come along for a night filled with fun and laughter. Just the right beginning to the festive season. Doors open at 7.15pm and tickets are available at the door. All tickets; adults, seniors, students and children are €10. Don’t miss a great night out.


Continue Reading


Teens theory is a national winner

Watch out Dallas as three local students are ready to take their science theory and blow the competition out of the water. Liam Waldron, Rachel Griffin and Luke O’Sullivan, Sixth […]



Watch out Dallas as three local students are ready to take their science theory and blow the competition out of the water.

Liam Waldron, Rachel Griffin and Luke O’Sullivan, Sixth Year students from Killarney Community College, were named SciFest STEM Champions 2022 for their Group Theoretic Approach to Pythagoras’ Theorem.

The national finals of SciFest Ireland were held at the Marino Conference Centre in Dublin last Friday and they were attended by finalists from across Ireland.

The amazing trio will now go on to represent Ireland at the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (Regeneron ISEF) which will be held in Dallas, Texas in May 2023.

The students secured their place at the national final after they won the overall prize at the SciFest regional competition at MTU Kerry in May this year.

Their project takes possibly one of the most well-known theorems that everyone remembers from school, Pythagoras’ Theorem. It provides an alternate proof of it, while also highlighting how right-angled triangles naturally provide a link between two coordinate systems and how this special case can naturally recreate the Pythagorean Theorem.

Supported by Intel Ireland and Boston Scientific, SciFest was set up 17 years ago by Sheila Porter and her husband George.

It is the largest, most inclusive STEM fair programme for second-level students in Ireland.

“The aim of SciFest has always been to develop a love of STEM and of inquiry-based learning and every year it is refreshing to see how the students of today continue to love and enjoy immersing themselves in science, technology, engineering and maths,” Sheila Porter, SciFest CEO, said.

“As SciFest grows each year, we grow more excited to see what new experiments and technologies are thought of and created. This year, students have shown incredible innovation in how STEM can make a positive impact on society, with initiatives in farming, space exploration and healthcare.”

Each year SciFest awards a ‘Teacher of Excellence’ and this year Máire Spillane was the recipient for her work with Luke, Rachel and Liam. She accompanied them to both finals and could not be prouder of this huge achievement at national level.

Killarney Community College held a whole school assembly to congratulate the SciFest champions in school and the SciFest STEM Champions 2022 were met with rapturous applause from all students and staff.

Ms Spillane spoke about the importance of STEM subjects and acknowledged the fact that Killarney Community College offers all students the opportunity to study all four of the disciplines, Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths and how our students are encouraged to submit projects every year into SciFest. It may be a competition run by science teachers, but in KCC cross-curricular co-operation by teachers of all subjects, is practiced on a daily basis.

Continue Reading


Last News