School-building programme: where the new schools will go

Over 40 schools due around Ireland, with places for 20,000 pupils to be built by 2022

All new schools are due to open from 2019 to 2022. Photograph: David Sleator

More than 40 new schools with places for 20,000 pupils are due to be established over the next four years, mostly in the Greater Dublin Area, to keep pace with Ireland’s growing population.

The announcement follows a Department of Education analysis of where the need for additional primary and secondary school places is greatest.

Minister for Education Richard Bruton will announce on Friday the locations for 26 new primary schools and 16 secondary ones.

The majority of new schools will be based in Dublin and the surrounding commuter belt, where population growth has been strongest in recent years.


While general areas have been selected, school planners will now go about seeking available sites to either build schools or repurpose existing buildings. All schools are due to open from 2019 to 2022.

All school buildings will paid for and owned by the State, while patron bodies will run them.

Parents in relevant areas will have a chance to vote for their preferred school patron through a new online system, as well as whether the new schools should operate through Irish or English.

South Dublin

In south Dublin, new primary schools are due in Booterstown/ Blackrock; Clonskeagh and Dublin 6W; Goatstown/ Stillorgan; Dublin 2/ Dublin 4; and Sallynoggin/ Killiney/ Cherrywood area (x3). All primary schools will vary from between eight to 16 classrooms in size.

At second level, new schools are due in Goatstown/ Stillorgan; Clonskeagh and Dublin 6W; Booterstown/ Blackrock and Dún Laoghaire; Dublin 2/ Dublin 4; and the Sallynoggin/ Killiney/ Cherrywood area. These secondary schools will vary in size from 600 to 1,000 pupils.

North Dublin

In north Dublin, new primary schools are due in Donaghmede/ Howth (x2); Drumcondra/ Marino; Killester/ Raheny/ Clontarf; north Swords; south Swords; Donabate. At second level in north Dublin, post-primary schools are due in Donaghmede/ Howth/ Belmayne; Donaghmede/ Baldoyle/ Stapolin; and Drumcondra/ Marino.

West Dublin

West Dublin is set to see schools constructed at primary level in Clondalkin and at second level in Blanchardstown west/ village; and at Citywest/ Saggart.

Commuter belt

The wider Dublin commuter belt will also see new primary schools in Dunshaughlin, Co Meath; Leixlip, Co Kildare; Maynooth, Co Kildare; Bray/ Woodbrook, Co Wicklow; and Naas, Co Kildare.

At second level, new commuter-belt schools are due in Laytown/ Drogheda, Co Louth; Wicklow town; Enfield, Co Meath; Kilcoole/ Greystones, Co Wicklow.

Outside Dublin

Outside the capital, new schools at primary level are also due in Glasheen / Pouladuff, Cork; Gurranebraher, Cork; Carrigaline, Co Cork; and west Kilkenny city.

New second-level schools are also due in Galway city/ Oranmore; and Ballincollig, Cork.

Mr Bruton said these new schools, along with extensions to existing schools, would serve to meet education needs over the next four years across the country.

“We are now creating more school places than at any other period in the history of the State,” he said.

“In 2010, some 9,000 school places were created. In 2017, we built approximately 18,800.”

He said the new online patronage process for schools due to open in 2019 would get under way later this year.

Mr Bruton said this approach would make it easier for parents to register their preferred patron and whether the new school should operate through Irish or English.

He said the department was fully committed to all projects on the existing building programme and was progressing all as quickly as possible.

The department will be under pressure to keep pace with the growing school population over the coming years.

Primary enrolments at national level are set to peak this year, while the number of young people at second level is set to keep rising until 2025.

This will see enrolments at post-primary exceed 400,000 students for the first time in the history of the State.

The cost of building new schools is also likely to rise significantly given that many new schools will be required in urban areas, where costs are higher due to competition for scarce land and complexities linked to the development of smaller sites.

Carl O'Brien

Carl O'Brien

Carl O'Brien is Education Editor of The Irish Times. He was previously chief reporter and social affairs correspondent