The consultation period for a survey on exemptions from studying Irish in schools has been extended due to the amount of responses received.

The Department of Education launched the consultation seeking views on the way students can apply to be exempted from the study of Irish in schools on 7 December 2018.

More than 2,100 responses were submitted by the week before Christmas, with further responses received since.

Minister for Education Joe McHugh announced that the closing date for submissions has been extended to Friday 18 January "given the high level of interest in the survey."

The survey asks respondents to indicate whether they 'Strongly agree', 'Agree', 'Disagree', or 'Strongly disagree' with several key aspects of the proposals and it includes an option to provide additional written comments.

In a statement, Mr McHugh said he was "delighted to see this huge level of interest in the consultation on the granting of exemptions from the study of Irish."

"It's an indication of how important an issue the teaching of Irish is for many, many people, and how strongly people of all ages feel about the teaching of our national language," he added.