This paper presents some of the findings of a study investigating young people's attitudes towards Europe and the European Union and their self-reported learning about European citizenship in Ireland. The paper considers adolescents' attitudes and motivations for language learning in light of recent literature arguing for the role of modern foreign language instruction in the teaching of European citizenship. Findings based on the results of a knowledge test regarding the rights and opportunities offered through European citizenship are also included. Data provide evidence that Irish students possess more knowledge than their counterparts in England, Spain and France on the subject, while showing more positive attitudes than other students. The paper considers the contribution of modern foreign language teaching to this knowledge and their positive attitudes, drawing some possible inferences for other European member states.