Coláiste Ráithín is a secondary school in Bray, County Wicklow, Ireland that teaches in the Irish language. Some students come from homes where Irish is the everyday language but most don’t. Some students come from one of the two Bray primary schools that teach in the Irish language, but many don’t. To cope with those challenges, the school teaches by immersing the children in the Irish language. They are allowed to speak to teachers in their native language, but all quickly gain fluency in Irish. Those who do not speak Irish are required, during the summer holiday before the beginning of their first year, to spend three weeks as a cohort at an Irish language summer school.
An Irish-medium school in Ireland is known as a Gaelscoil. There are a total of 305 primary level Gaelscoils in the island of Ireland, made up as follows:
- 126 in Gaeltacht areas
- 144 outside Gaeltacht areas
- 35 in Northern Ireland
There are a total of 71 secondary level Gaelscoils and colleges in the island of Ireland, made up as follows:
- 22 in Gaeltacht areas
- 43 outside Gaeltacht areas
- 6 in Northern Ireland
Coláiste Ráithín is outside the Gaeltacht areas and is therefore one of those 43.
As for Bray, it combines the attractions of a seaside resort with the business of a thriving urban center. It’s always referred to as belonging to County Wicklow, even though part of it is actually across the border in Dublin County. Its civic motto translates into English as “Hospitality and Welcome,” though the English need not imagine that that applies to them.