Thank you, I'll check that out and buy a few books to help me along.
I just asked my dad - he was a teacher in the Gaelscoil in Ballymun for years until he retired- and he said a good book for beginners is progress in Irish by Máire Ní Ghráda.
You could also buy the Turas Teanga book which is quite easy an comes with DVDs.
In my experience, teachers have been amenable to the use of dialectal language (vs the standard) in writing. Now, I wouldn't have a particularly rich dialectal vocabulary or use of verbs, but from time to time I'd say things like "ar an dtalamh" "do bhíodh teach ag..." "dheineas" etc. and I'd get away with it, but I imagine some teachers wouldn't be familiar with them all and might penalise them. I was quite lucky with my Irish teachers, frankly, going to a quality Gaelscoil made up mostly of native speakers (and being quite far from a Gaeltacht...) and other high quality speakers, and having a good teacher in secondary with immersive experience in a Gaeltacht.
Gumbi, can you clear up authoritatively whether forms like dheineas are accepted in the Irish Junior and Higher Leaving Certificates? And how many works by Peadar Ua Laogaire, Tomás Ó Criomhthain, Peig Sayers, Máirtín Ó Caidhin, and the Grianna brothers did you read through in class in your Gaelscoil? It's not meant to be a trick question - I just want to know yes or no, if any of these were on your curriculum.
I am not aware of the official word on this (if there even is one).
None of those books on the curriculum for primary school students as far as I know, but we did read Séadna in fourth class. As for the Junior/Leaving Cert, I didn't go to a Gaelscoil, so I just did whatever the curriculum was.
Well, Séadna is at least something, but unless you read a seanachló edition, you won't have got a 100% genuine edition.
I'm working through this at the moment, and I really like it. It feels like a very gradual, and slow introduction to the language, but it actually moves very fast. The only problem with it is that it doesn't come with an audio or answers. If the person goes with this book, these links are a godsend for those of us with a very low level of Irish:
This kind of holier-than-thou comment is the sort of thing that turns people off Irish. (or anything else for that matter).
If that is your intention, go ahead.
Otherwise try to encourage people to speak/read/write what they can, and they will improve.