The Tainaiste has suggested that universities accept students who fail the Honours Leaving Cert in Mathematics. That doesn't seem quite right to me, although I understand where she's coming from - too many students are bailing out of the honours paper and settling for the pass paper.
A simple and equitable solution would be to do the following: let all students take both the pass and honours paper (with an option to skip either). That's not feasible at the moment because the two exams are held simultaneously, but they could be held on different days.
That way any student who was afraid of losing out on a college place all together for failing honours math could take the pass paper as a fall back. There'd be no extra studying required as anyone who has put the work into an honours level course should have no difficulty passing the pass level paper.