Government will approve new school in east Galway

Building of Athenry secondary school stalled due to IDA Ireland’s objections

 Minister for Education  Jan O’Sullivan. File photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Minister for Education Jan O’Sullivan. File photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

 

The Department of Education has confirmed it will approve the building of a new east Galway secondary school after the project stalled due to concerns held by IDA Ireland.

IDA Ireland had indicated to the department that it would not be happy with the construction of a new school for Athenry’s Presentation College next to its land at Raheen Woods on the outskirts of the town.

IDA Ireland has earmarked the location, which it purchased from Teagasc, for “pharma, biopharma, medical devices, ICT and other relevant activities”.

It is understood that IDA Ireland feared objections to its development from parents if a school was built beside it.

The school site had already been bought by the schools’ trustee body, Ceist, after the project’s initial approval by the department.

Public meeting

Galway East election candidates were invited to a public meeting on the issue last week.

The department said on Thursday night that it had informed the school patron this week that it would be “reverting to the Raheen Woods site”.

The decision has been welcomed by Labour Senator and election candidate Lorraine Higgins, who said she had worked with Minister for Education Jan O’Sullivan to resolve the issue.