This paper seeks to address the gender equity issue in terms of participation and achievement in foreign language learning in Irish schools. It begins by framing the discussion within the international concern regarding boys' underachievement in school. It goes on to present the reality that this underachievement of boys appears to be even more marked in the language and literacy curriculum areas. A particular issue with regard to both boys' participation and achievement in foreign language learning internationally is discussed before some evidence is presented of the existence of this same phenomenon in Irish schools. The contention that the issue is officially unrecognised and unacknowledged is then put forward. The paper finishes with a call for the impact of gender on participation and achievement in foreign language learning to be immediately recognised in Ireland to form part of any debate and reform of education and language teaching within the country. © 2010 Educational Studies Association of Ireland.