Cavan village aims to attract families in bid to save school

Glangevlin at risk of losing two-teacher national school if pupil numbers fall below 15

Curravagh National School, Glangevlin. Photograph: Tina Dolan

Curravagh National School, Glangevlin. Photograph: Tina Dolan

 

A small village in west Co Cavan has started a campaign in the hopes of expanding its community, calling on families to move there.

Glangevlin, which has a population of about 250 people, has put out a call for families to move to the village, as a result of the declining number of families living in the area.

The local community fears the village’s two-teacher Curravagh National School could lose one teacher if pupils numbers fall below 15.

Locals are appealing for families who want to get away Dublin to move to the village for cheaper house prices and smaller classes.

The group have set up a website, Instagram and Twitter accounts to showcase the area and what it has to offer.

Tina Dolan, a local parent and campaign member, said the village has gone into “severe decline” in recent years.

“There are fifteen students in the school and just two teachers but if it falls below fifteen the board of management will have to decide whether the school can stay open with one teacher,” she said. “It’s a do-or-die situation for us with the school, but if we can get more than 15 pupils we will be able to ensure the school will remain open for the foreseeable future and keep some life in the village.”

Ms Dolan said they have had queries from several people who have children of school-going age and from others wishing to purchase a home in the area.

“We have had a lot of interest and inquiries so far as people are attracted by the slower pace of life and better value housing. Glangevlin offers a really different lifestyle as it is so remote. It is in the foothills of the Cuilcagh mountains and is surrounded by incredible scenery,” she said.

“It’s a really small village which offers something very different compared to moving to a town just outside Dublin. Even though it is rural, it’s still under an hour from major towns or job locations.”

Local Fianna Fáil councillor John Paul Feely said the struggle faced by Curravagh is an example of the challenges facing rural communities at national level.

“Not nearly enough is happening to help communities like Glangevlin,” he said. Mr Feely said he is working with the group to support the campaign to attract new families to the area.

“Glangevlin is a tranquil, picturesque rural area within easy reach of towns like Enniskillen, Ballyconnell, Cavan, Carrick-on-Shannon, Manorhamilton and Sligo,” he said.

“It is in the heart of the Unesco Marble Arch Global Geopark. The community is vibrant and welcoming but needs an injection of new life.”

The campaign follows a similar initiative in the village of Kiltyclogher in Co Leitrim last year, which faced similar issues.