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(Gaeilge) Comórtas

January 23, 2017

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Scoil Naithí Dublin school closed after ‘extensive’ fire damage

January 23, 2017

A primary school in south Dublin has been “extensively damaged” in an overnight fire.

Four units of Dublin Fire Brigade were called to Scoil Naithí primary school on Stone Mason’s Way in Ballinteer after a fire was reported at around 4am.

The fire brigade fought the fire for more than three hours and left the scene at 7.15am. There were no injuries in the incident.

A tweet from Dublin Fire Brigade said part of the school had been “extensively damaged” in the blaze.

A text was sent out to parents with children in the school informing them the school would be closed on Monday and that further updates on the situation would be provided later in the day.

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Shane Ross posted on his Facebook page that he planned to contact Minister for Education Richard Bruton to establish what funds could be made available to reopen the school.

He wrote: “Absolutely devastating news about Scoil Naithí in Ballinteer. Thankfully, no one was hurt. I am going to get in contact with Minister Bruton today to establish what funds can be made available to ensure the school is reopened as quickly as possible.”

Local Rathdown TD and Green Party deputy leader Catherine Martin also called on the Department of Education to support the school community of Scoil Naithí following the fire.

In a statement on Monday, Ms Martin said: “This is a terrible blow to the entire school community of Scoil Naithí in Ballinteer. The school was being examined and assessed when I called down to the site this morning. The Department of Education and Skills must do everything they can to support the school in every feasible way.”

The cause of the fire and the extent of the damage is unknown. However, according to a Dublin Fire Brigade spokesman, the period of time spent battling the blaze indicates there could be significant damage. It is understood the fire broke out in the office of the school building but is unclear how far into the building it spread.

Gardaí at Dundrum are investigating the incident and the scene has been preserved pending a garda technical examination. A garda forensics team is also at the scene.

There are no road closures in the area.

There are 250 students in the southside Dublin gaelscoil plus an additional forty students in the Naíonra (pre-school). The school was founded in 1973 and was officially opened in 1980 by former taoiseach Charlie Haughey.


Gaelscoil Éadain Mhóir hoping to boost school numbers as demand for places grows

January 23, 2017

An Irish school in Derry is seeking to increase the number of pupils it can accept after the demand for Primary 1 places has trebled over the past four years.

A public meeting was held at the Gaelscoil Éadain Mhóir Irish school last night, where it emerged that a draft development proposal will be submitted to the Department of Education in the coming weeks.

There are currently 147 pupils at the Lecky Road school, which is made up of 121 children at the primary school and 26 at the Naíscoil, which is the nursery school.

The proposal, if approved, will allow the school the school to increase the number of children it can accept into its Primary 1 classes, which it said is necessary to meet the demand.

Speaking at the meeting, the school’s principal, Mary Nic Ailín, said that boosting enrolment at the school was vital given that the demand for applications for Primary One places at the school had trebled over the past four years.

“The increase in demand for places in recent years shows the increasing growth of Irish medium education in the city,” she said.

“Children travel from all areas of the city and the Waterside to attend our school.

“Irish medium education is flourishing in the city and going from strength to strength, where we have children leaving our primary school with a GCSE and continuing on with languages at secondary and Third Level.

“We really feel that Irish medium education is opening doors for future generations.”

Ms Nic Ailín added that the school is also seeking to enhance its physical offering, with the hope being that it will be able to secure a new building.

“We’re currently working with the Gasyard Development Trust and the Urban Villages project, where we hope to enhance the space at the school, with the hope being that we can get a new build in the future.”


Eighty children to miss out on Gaelscoil as waiting list soars

January 23, 2017

A Gaelscoil in Co Kildare will be unable to provide school places for almost 80 children next September, due to huge numbers enrolling at the school.

Scoil Ui Riada in Kilcock, Co Kildare, has approximately 56 places for next September; however, 52 of those places have already been reserved by siblings of current pupils.

This leaves just four places for new families in the school, as the waiting list hits 130 children. The school has been oversubscribed since 2013, with parents fighting each year for extra places.

In previous years, the school has been granted extra places to accommodate as many children as possible.

However, this year the Department of Education and the school’s patron, the Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin, are insisting that there should only be two streams rather than three. There are four other schools in the area for families to choose from, but parents are adamant that they should have the right to educate their children through the Irish language.

Brendan Shalvey has had his daughter on the waiting list to attend Scoil Ui Riada since she was nine months old but fears that she will not get a place in September.

“It turns out that there are people who have been there from about three months old.

“We want Irish to survive, we want Irish to thrive and we want it to be a living language.”

Parents’ Committee member Eimear de Faoite says the fight for extra places at the school is lasting from spring to September each year. “At this stage, there is a precedent that parents here wish for their children to be educated through Gaeilge,” she added.

Seamus O Muirithe, principal of Scoil Ui Riada, told the Sunday Independent that he supported the parents.

“Unfortunately, at the moment, we are bound by other decisions made by the Department of Education.

”These decisions do not allow us to give parents what they would like in relation to education through the medium of Irish.”

The school’s patron, Bishop Denis Nulty, declined to comment. Last week, Minister for Education Richard Bruton revealed that he intends to tackle school admission policies that give preference to Catholic children. The changes will prevent Catholic schools from exclusively selecting children who have been baptised for admission.

Meanwhile, the Education (Admissions to School) Bill is currently making its way through the Oireachtas.

The bill will mean that waiting lists for schools will be banned, which is intended to alleviate pressure on parents with children attending oversubscribed schools.

Sunday Independent

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