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Aylward hopeful of further progress on new Colaiste Pobail Osrai site in city

September 16, 2010

SIGNIFICANT progress has been made on plans to secure a new location for Coláiste Pobail Osraí, according to local Fianna Fáil TD, Bobby Aylward. “I was delighted to host a deputation which met with Tánaiste and Minister for Education and Skills, Mary Coughlan, while she was in Kilkenny last week,” he said.

Representatives from the Coláiste and the VEC made a very persuasive, very convincing case for funding to the Minister. I’m glad to say that she was impressed with the strength of the arguments and she agreed to take the matter up immediately with the responsible officials in her Department. The Minister said her officials would contact Roger Curran, CEO of the VEC, in the coming weeks to discuss the matter and to explore the options for Departmental funding for this initiative”, Deputy Aylward said.

He continued: “For some time now, Coláiste Pobail Osraí has been considering a move to a new green-field site. While the present facilities at Ormonde Road are modern and up-to-date, the space they occupy is becoming confined. Long-term, the Coláiste is seeking to meet the growing demand for places in the school. The level of interest in the Irish language and education through the medium of Irish is enjoying a big increase in Kilkenny. This is evidenced by the popularity and huge success of the local Gaelscoil. I believe pupils should have the opportunity to continue their studies through Irish at second-level and increased capacity in the Coláiste would cater for that”.

“If it is to expand and to provide a range of additional amenities, the Coláiste will have to find an alternative site and develop a state-of-the-art campus close to the city. The CEO of the V.E.C. and the Príomhoide, together with the Board of Management and the Parents’ Council, have now identified a number of suitable sites and are currently looking for funding for their ambitious project”.

“Based on our meeting with the Minister, I am very hopeful that funding can be made available. This is a very worthy project and I want to compliment Roger Curran and the Principal of the Coláiste, Cathnia Ó Muircheartaigh, and their entire team, on their single-minded determination in pursuing their plans”, Bobby Aylward, T.D., ended.

Commenting on the meeting with Minister Coughlan, Mr. Cathnia Ó Muircheartaigh, Principal of Coláiste Pobail Osraí, said “I am greatly encouraged by the positive and enthusiastic response we received from the Minister. I’m also very grateful to Bobby Aylward for facilitating the meeting and for his dedicated support to us. I believe we made good progress on our plans for re-location and I’m looking forward to continued headway when we present our proposals to the Department. There is a clear need for us to expand; we have a surge in interest in our school and we will out-grow our present site very shortly. That is why we are advancing our plans and I hope, with the support of Bobby Aylward and the Department of Education, that we can acquire an appropriate, convenient site and bring our plans to an early fruition”.Coláiste Pobail Osraí was established in 1991 and is an independent entity under the auspices of the VEC.