Controversy over new school plan

 

Sir, – In north Kildare, the decision by the parents of more than 1,600 students attending Gaelscoileanna, that their children should continue their education through the medium of Irish, has been dismissed by the Department of Education.

The founding committee or an Coiste Bunaithe has applied twice to the Department of Education in the last five years to establish a Gaelcholáiste or Irish medium secondary school. The application has been rejected on both occasions.

On announcing plans to build a new school in Maynooth in June 2012, Minister for Education Ruairí Quinn said the criteria used in deciding on patronage would place a particular emphasis on: “parental demand for plurality and diversity”.

“Parental preferences should be at the centre of considerations about the type of school to be recognised.” Expressions of interest in the new school by patronage bodies was accepted by the department up until February 17th, 2012 and the closing date for applications is February 24th.

An Foras Pátrúnachta submitted an expression of interest on behalf of the parents to the department before the due date.

Expressions of interest currently posted on the department website consist of Co Kildare VEC and the Loreto Education Trust.

The reason given by the department for the exclusion of An Foras application for a Gaelcholáiste was that a third application would confuse the people of north Kildare.

The parents of children attending Gaelscoil Uí Fhiaich, Maynooth, Scoil Uí Dhálaigh, Leixlip, Scoil Uí Riada, Kilcock and Gaelscoil na nÓg, Dunboyne are furious that their wish to have their children continue their education through the medium of Irish should be dismissed in such an unjust manner.

We demand that the Minister for Education explain why the department is so dismissive of parental rights and why is he opposed to a Gaelcholáiste in Maynooth. – Is mise,

COLM Ó CEARÚIL,

Oifigeach Caidrimh Phoiblí,

An Coiste Bunaithe,

Gael-Choláiste,

Chill Dara Thuaidh,

Maigh Nuad,

Co Chill Dara.