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Deeply concerned about Colaiste na Coiribe move

July 2, 2010

A Chara,
I am a parent, a resident of Renmore and an enthusiast of the Irish language. I am deeply disappointed that there are plans afoot to relocate this school (Coláiste na Coiribe) to the western suburbs. The residential areas to the east of the city now feel completely abandoned by the educational system.

In Galway city, second level education has become increasingly polarised over the past five to six years. Middle class parents appear to be involved in a mad scramble to get their children into the schools that are the best performing schools, according to the league tables. League table success leads to more league table success, as the elite youngsters gravitate towards the top performing schools.

Colaiste na Coiribe has achieved success according to this (limited) measure. It is a selective school because of the demand for places.

Despite my misgivings about the management of the school, I admire what has been achieved with limited resources. I had planned to send my own children, as they are currently attending Gaelscoil Dara, here in Renmore. Colaiste na Coiribe is within walking distance of Renmore. I was bitterly disappointed to hear that the school is to be moved to the west of the city, not only for myself but also for the neighbourhoods in the east of the city.

The west of the city is extremely well serviced by secondary schools. Salthill has Salerno (girls), Dominican Convent (girls) and Colaiste Einne (co-ed with Irish stream). Also to the west of the city is St Mary’s College (boys). The Jes (co-ed with Irish stream) and St Joseph’s College are in the western section of the city centre. The Mercy Convent is in the city centre. Apart from Colaiste na Coiribe, the only school to the east of the city is Moneennageisha Community School.

It is true that Knocknacarra (the proposed new location for Colaiste na Coiribe) lacks a secondary school, but, at least, there are a variety of secondary schools within a radius of a mile and a half to two miles.

Knocknacarra is only eight miles from An Spideal, which has a co-ed lán ghaeilge secondary school and only eleven miles from Coláiste Cholmcille, Indreabhan, a co-ed vocational school.

In the current economic climate, I am asking politicians, both councillors and politicians, to take a fresh look at this crazy proposal. Children in the east of Galway city are as entitled to a choice of state schools as those in the west of the city.

A concerned parent

Letter to the Editor, Galway Independent