South Dublin school saved from relocating for another year after a tough battle with Department of Education

0 gaelscoilpng.png
0 gaelscoilpng.png

Parents of students at Gaelscoil Laighean have been saved as the school has been granted permission to stay at the current site at Deansgrange for one more year.

They fought hard to ensure they weren’t moved to a new interim site on Eblana Avenue in Dun Laoghaire which is far outside their catchment area.

As they claimed that there were multiple concerns about the suitability of the proposed site, with extended commutes, restricted access to the site, and a nearby building site.

Fine Gael Senator, Barry Ward welcomed the news that the school will remain in temporary accommodation until a suitable location is found within the Blackrock-Booterstown catchment area

The Dun Laoghaire representative said: “The Department of Education had made an unilateral decision to move the Gaelscoil Laighean from its location in Deansgrange to further temporary accommodation in Eblana Avenue in Dun Laoghaire and that doesn’t suit for a whole range of reasons.

“Today, the Minister of Education made a decision to defer that until there is a permanent site available in the Blackrock/ Booterstown area and I welcome that decision.

“I’m delighted to hear that she has listened to Pobal Ghaelscoil Laighean on this issue because a lot of parents, students and teachers are really concerned about what the effect would’ve been on the school had it moved to Dun Laoghaire so I want to thank Minister Foley.

“They’ve done a great job and it shows that politics does work. When ministers and politicians listen, we can have a good outcome.

“It was fantastic to learn that the Department has listened to the school community and decided not to relocate Gaelscoil Laighean, on a temporary basis, to entirely unsuitable premises in Dun Laoghaire.”

In a statement issued on Thursday evening, the Department outlined that it: “had continued engagement and consultation with An Foras Patrunachta in relation to the school’s 2021 interim accommodation needs.

“The patron body submitted to the Department information from the school principal outlining the position with enrolment numbers for the 2021 academic year and making a request that the Department allow the school to continue to operate from the Kill Lane premises for the 2021/22 school year.

“The Department explored this request further with An Foras Patrunachta and the board of management of Gaelscoil Laighean.

“Following a meeting with the patron body and the school authorities on 9 June 2021 the Department formally advised the patron body that Gaelscoil Laighean will remain in the accommodation at Kill Lane for the 2021/22 academic year.”

In response to a need, identified in the last census, for a new primary school in the Blackrock-Booterstown area, a plebiscite was held in 2018, which showed overwhelming public support for a non-denominational Gaelscoil.

Gaelscoil Laighean was established on Kill Lane in September 2019, in temporary accommodation, and has been very successful but it is not a long-term home.

The hunt continues to find a permanent site for the school, with potential locations to be discussed at a meeting of Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council next month.

Get the latest breaking news to your inbox by signing up to our free newsletter.