The Department of Education has agreed before the High Court to withdraw a circular directing that English be taught in the second term of junior infants in Gaelscoileanna.

Those who were committed to immersion education were worried about the detrimental effects that they believed this directive would have on the Gaelscoileanna.

In 2007 An Foras Patrunachta, Gaelscoil Mhic Easmainn in Tralee and Gaelscoil Nás na Rí in Kildare got an injunction to stop the Department from forcing schools to accept this direction pending a judicial review.

There followed a major campaign by Irish language organisations to get the Minister of Education to withdraw the circular.

The case was expected to be heard in the High court next week but instead the Department agreed to withdraw the circular completely.

In a statement issued by the Department this afternoon it said that it is drafting a new regulation that will allow Irish-medium schools to delay the teaching of English up to the end of the first term of senior infants.

They said that the Minister intends to give a copy of the draft regulation to the education partners and Irish language organisations before laying it before the houses of the Oireachtas.

Irish language organisations have welcomed the withdrawal of the circular and say they look forward to seeing the new regulation.