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Próiseas nua maidir le haitheantas meánscoileanna fógartha

August 12, 2010

Sorry, this entry is only available in Irish.

Good news for gaelscoil

August 12, 2010

Gaelscoil Mhic Amhlaigh is to move to the next stage of its building plans, following a decision by the Department of Education. Galway West TD Noel Grealish and Galway City Councillor Donal Lyons have welcomed the decision by the department to approve Gaelscoil Mhic Amhlaigh to move to the next planning stage, which includes planning permission, Fire Safety Certificate and Disability Access Certificate.

“I recently discussed the school’s plans at a meeting with An Tánaiste and Minister for Education and Science Mary Coughlan and I asked her to move the project forward as quickly as possible,” said Deputy Grealish.

“An Tanaiste has now informed me that she has given approval to the school to advance with their building plans,” he said, adding that this is good news for the parents, teachers and pupils of Gaelscoil Mhic Amhlaigh.
Galway City Councillor Donal Lyons has also welcomed the decision.

“In September, this school will have 440 pupils and half of these will be housed in portacabins,” he said.
“This announcement means that the school can now proceed with their plans for eight new classrooms at the school, which will significantly improve facilities for teachers and children,” Cllr Lyons concluded.

Galway Independent
04 Iúil 2010

Béim curtha ar ról na nEagras i dTuarascáil an Chomhchoiste

August 12, 2010

Sorry, this entry is only available in Irish.

Monaghan barracks to become €20 million education campus

August 12, 2010

Work is to start early next year on a €20 million education campus on the site of a former army barracks in Monaghan town, which closed last year.

The 20-acre site has been acquired for €3.1million by Monaghan VEC, which is managing the plan for the country’s first integrated educational campus. It will be home to Monaghan Institute of Further Education, a gaelscoil, gaelcholÁiste and an Irish language pre-school, as well as a theatre, gym and sports fields.

Martin O’Brien, chief executive of Monaghan VEC, said the project had the full backing of the government and should have its first intake of students in September 2012. A Dublin firm, Oppermann Architects, has been appointed to lead the design team for the project, and a feasibility study on what could be built on the site is almost complete.
O’Brien said a planning application for the project would be submitted to Monaghan County Council around October.

He is hopeful that planning permission could be granted by next January, allowing work to begin on the site in early spring. ‘‘We have the site, and the different government departments have come together to support us,” O’Brien said. ‘‘We have talked to the county council and looked at roads planning, so we know what the council will require on an application. Now we are working on pre-qualifying building contractors, so we can move quickly once permission is granted.”
He said the project would cost at least €20 million, although that might be ‘‘a bit on the small side’’.

Despite poor economic conditions, he said he was confident that funding would be available to allow the campus to go ahead as planned.
‘‘I met the Taoiseach last week and the first thing he asked me was how things were going with the proposal,” O’Brien said. ‘‘We have given a commitment to four or five ministers on this, and the local people.
There is no way we are going to let anyone down.” ‘‘This really is going to be a turning point for education in this country. It is up to the VEC to step up and make the running on this.
We are going to deliver this,” said O’Brien. He said the plan would address a ‘‘deficit of sites for education’’ in Monaghan.

He said that funding had already been agreed for a new gaelscoil, as the existing school in the town was in ‘‘inadequate accommodation’’. The Irish pre-school is attached to the gaelscoil and recently sought to be included in the move to the barracks site on the Armagh Road.
The second-level gaelcoláiste was set up about five years ago and is operating from a rented premises. It has 185 students enrolled for September, but is taking in about 65 students each year and will soon be a school of almost 400 students.

Monaghan Institute of Further Education has 550 students but is also using rented accommodation, including some at St Davnet’s psychiatric hospital.
The institute has already been using some of the army barracks buildings since the last soldiers left in January 2009.

The closure of the base after almost 25 years was part of a move, announced by the government in October 2008, to save money by shutting five army facilities. O’Brien said the VEC plan for the site originated in the same week as the closure and after he had met Tánaiste Mary Coughlan.
‘‘I was introduced to the Tánaiste and wanted to find out about the barracks, because I had concerns about what might happen to the site,” he said. ‘‘She said that if we made a submission that represented value for money, it would get consideration from the government.”
When he first launched the education plan at a VEC meeting, ‘‘some people said it was crazy’’, according to O’Brien. However, a VEC committee of about 24 people was formed, representing abroad sweep of the community, including political and church representatives.
A delegation met the then minister for education, Batt O’Keeffe, for what O’Brien described as ‘‘a very productive meeting’’.

The committee then drew up estimates of what the site and the development would cost, and made a submission to government. On November 30, Taoiseach Brian Cowen visited Monaghan and gave the go-ahead to the plan. He asked the VEC to manage the project and ‘‘came with the money’’ for the VEC to buy the site, O’Brien said. ‘‘It is bought and paid for. We have the full deeds.”
He said that ‘‘major work’’ had been done on the project since then, including hiring legal advisers, project managers, and archaeological and topographical experts. ‘‘We worked through the Christmas holidays and we worked a half-day on St Patrick’s Day,” he said.
As well as the departments of Defence and Education, O’Brien has had contact with the Department of Tourism, Culture and Sport, which is co-funding the theatre on the site. ‘‘We have got a very fair hearing and good support everywhere we went,” he said.

The project took a big step forward last month with the appointment of Oppermann to lead the design team. It will work with Hawkins Brown, an architecture firm in London.
Oppermann has worked on a number of education projects, including Ballyfermot Senior College and Coláiste I’de in Dublin, as well as primary and secondary schools around the country. Its private sector work includes shopping centres, restaurants, hotels and spa facilities.

O’Brien said the campus could lead the regeneration of Monaghan, which has been hit by people going to the North to shop, as well as historical associations with the border. Consideration is being given to incorporating a pedestrian walkway on the site, which backs onto the Ulster Canal and is ‘‘a beautiful amenity’’, according to the VEC head.
The plan for the barracks site also showed the kind of role that VECs could play, at a time when there was pressure to rationalise or integrate state bodies, he said. The VEC has not taken on any extra staff to deal with the project and was ‘‘happy to do it’’.

‘‘We don’t want anything for nothing. Everybody has been frozen solid [by the recession], but there is no point sitting on your backside. No one is going to do it for you,” said O’Brien.

The Sunday Business Post – Gavin Daly
01 Lúnasa 2010

Post nua do Shiobhán

August 12, 2010

Sorry, this entry is only available in Irish.

Gaelscoil Mhic Amhlaigh approved to move to next expansion stage

August 12, 2010

The announcement by the Department of Education to approve the next stage of the Gaelscoil Mhic Amhlaigh building expansion has been welcomed by Independent Deputy for Galway West, Noel Grealish, and Galway City Councillor Donal Lyons.

The approval also includes planning permission, Fire Safety Certificate and Disability Access Certificate. I recently discussed the school’s plans at a meeting with An Tánaiste and Minister for Education and Science Mary Coughlan, and I asked her to move the project forward as quickly as possible, says Deputy Grealish. An Tánaiste has now informed me that she has given approval to the school to advance with their building plans.’ Deputy Grealish says the announcement is good news for the parents, teachers and pupils of Gaelscoil Mhic Amhlaigh.
Councillor Donal Lyons has also welcomed the decision: In September this school will have 440 pupils and half of these will be housed in portocabins,’ he says. This announcement means that the school can now proceed with their plans for eight new classrooms at the school, which will significantly improve facilities for teachers and children.

Galway Advertiser – Trevor Quinn
05 Lúnasa 2010

All-Irish body ready to control schools

August 12, 2010

A body that is patron to more than 60 all-Irish schools has offered its services in areas where the Catholic Church may decide to hand over control of some of its schools.

The move by An Foras Pátrúnachta na Scoileanna LánGhaeilge follows the release last week of a Department of Education report outlining more than 40 towns where primary schools are predominantly Catholic or other denominations but where there is unlikely to be sufficient population growth in the next six years to warrant new schools being opened.

The Catholic bishops had sought the information and have promised to consult with local communities, schools, parents and staff before deciding if they will divest patronage of schools in areas where there may be demand for a greater choice of school ethos.
While observers have highlighted the possibility of multi-denominational patron body Educate Together, which controls more than 50 primary schools, or city and county Vocational Education Committees (VECs), filling the gap, An Foras Pátrúnachta has stressed it is also available.

The organisation is patron to 58 primary and three second level schools, including a mix of Catholic, inter-denominational (for children of Catholic and Protestant faiths) and multi-denominational schools (where pupils of all faiths and none are taught but no specific religion is taught in classes).
General secretary Caoimhín O hEaghra said that the process of consultation before bishops take any decisions may take time. But, he said, if all parties are serious about the proposal, then gaelscoils are an obvious place to start.
“There is greater demand than ever for gaelscoileanna throughout the country in both rural and urban areas.
“This demand is seen in areas of stable population and in areas where the population is growing,” he said.

“If a gaelscoil currently under the Catholic Church wishes to change to the patronage of An Foras Pátrúnachta they will hold onto their Catholic ethos, plus being with An Foras Pátrúnachta whose main focus is Irish-medium education is immediately of benefit to the school and the change of patronage would be seamless,” Mr O hEaghra said.
More than 92% of the country’s 3,165 primary schools have a Catholic ethos, 69 are multi-denominational and eight are inter-denominational.

Irish Examiner – Niall Murray
09 Lúnasa 2010

Oireachtas Report recognises role of voluntary sector in Strategy

August 12, 2010

An Oireachtas committee, which today published a report on the Draft 20 Year Strategy for the Irish language, has highlighted the importance of Irish language organisations in the in future implementation of the Strategy.

One of the recommendations made in the report states that the success of the strategy will depend on harnessing and co-coordinating the support given to the sector and it stresses that it is essential that “effective support structures are in place for this sector that will allow the government to assist them and monitor their achievements during the lifetime of the Strategy”.

The report, which was compiled by the Joint Committee on Tourism, Culture, Sport, Community, Equality and Gaeltacht Affairs, also recommends that that Údarás na Gaeltachta or any new body established under the strategy should retain the primary responsibility to develop the economy and infrastructure of the Gaeltacht.

The Chairman of the committee, Tom Kitt, TD presented the report to Minister Pat Carey, TD, earlier today, 28 July 2010 at a press conference held in Leinster House.

The report contains 39 proposals to be included in the Strategy which covers aspects of Irish language education, Gaeltacht education as well as the normalization of Irish in society.

The report also makes recommendations on the role played by state agencies and the public in the implementation of the Strategy.

The Minister welcomed the publication of the report  and  said  that he was hopeful that there would be cross-party support for the strategy when the Taoiseach chairs a debate in the Houses of the Oireachtas in the autumn.

If the Government accepts the recommendations made by the report, the Office of An Coimisinéir Teanga, the Irish language Ombudsman would be responsible monitoring the strategy’s implementation.

The report also recommends that the Strategy should contain a clear outline of the separate responsibilities of Údarás na Gaeltachta and Foras na Gaeilge in the strategy.

Minister Carey stated that it was unlikely that any merger between the two organizations due to the time constraints.
Pádraig Mac Criostail, Director of Comhdháil Náisiúnta na Gaeilge welcomed the publication of the report. “ I wish to congratulate the Joint Committee for the comprehensive report which contains strong recommendations which have been agreed ona cross-party basis, recoomendations which will no doubt benefit the Irish language in the coming twenty years.”

“ The proposals followed a consultation process which was established by the committee to examine opinions, the wishes and the needs of the Irish speaking community.  An Chomhdháil hopes that the Government will accept the recommendations of the report in it’s entirety and that the final 20 Year Strategy for the Irish language be published soon.

Julian de Spáinn, Secretary General of Conradh na Gaeilge also welcomed the publication of the report and thanked the committee for seeking the opinions of the public on aspects of the draft Strategy. “It is imperative that the Government approves all the recommendations in the Joint Oireachtas Committee’s report in their entirety, that they are included in the final draft of the 20 Year Strategy for the Irish Language, and that cross-party agreement is fostered for the Strategy to ensure its value is appreciated and supported across the board in coming years.”

The Report has been published online on the website of the Houses of the Oireachtas here. What do you think of the proposals made by the Committee? Contact us on our facebook page or send a message to @gaelport on Twitter.
©Foilsithe ar Gaelport.com 28 Iúil 2010

Official Recognition for Four Gaelscoileanna in Northern Ireland

August 12, 2010

Four new Gaelscoileanna recently received official recognition from the Department of Education, Northern Ireland for the next school year.

Parents and local organisations responded with great joy to the announcement which followed an intensive campaign by community groups to establish Irish language medium schools in Maherafelt and Limavaddy in Co. Derry, Kilkeel in Co. Down and in Ballymena in Co. Antrim.

The schools hope to open on the first day of September this year once conditions set out by the Department are complied with.

The good news added to the festivity of a fund-raising dance held  ast Saturday week in the Europa Hotel, Belfast in aid of Gaelscoil an Seanchaí, one of the newly recognised schools.

The schools received recognition based on the consistent demand for Irish medium education in these school areas. It has been recognised that Irish medium secondary schools may be established in these areas in the coming years if demand persists at a local level.

©Gaelport.com 10 Lúnasa 2010

Athrú don Ghaeilge i gcritéir nua

August 12, 2010

Sorry, this entry is only available in Irish.

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