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January 29, 2016

The new four classroom-based school was funded through the Department’s Accommodation Fund.

Speaking at the official opening ceremony Education Minister John O’Dowd said: “This is a fantastic day for the pupils, parents, staff and wider community associated with Gaelscoil Ghleann Darach. Through hard work and total dedication you have reached this momentous stage of gaining a brand new school.

“In this purpose built environment this generation of pupils and indeed future generations have an excellent facility to complete their education.

“The Irish language is an integral part of our rich and shared heritage and I take great pride in witnessing and being part of a sector that continues to grow and thrive educationally, socially and economically.

“I wish everyone associated with the school every good wish for the future.”

Welcoming the Minister to the school for the opening, Principal Stephen Wallace said: “We are absolutely delighted with our new build. Our children’s faces lit up when they entered the building for the first time. It is safe, bright and a wonderful learning environment. Our school which has grown on separate campuses now has the opportunity to grow, play and learn together.

“The community leadership and support has been fantastic to bring the new build about. We have operated out of different buildings in the past in Crumlin and it is lovely to now have a place to call your own. The community has been extremely supportive over the years to ensure Irish-medium education thrives in Crumlin. More and more people are buying into Irish-medium and for different reasons too. I know that it has the ability to open doors and create opportunities in the future and we have a wonderful facility to realise this potential.

“We are also extremely grateful to Iontaobhas na Gaelscolaíochta who supported us every step of the way on the road to the new build. Comhairle na Gaelscolaíochta have been ever present to ensure the school thrives. The Department of Education was very dedicated and committed to ensure that the school was built within an extremely tight timeframe and the Education Authority provided the expertise to support the school during the construction period and beyond.

“It was also designed with an eye to future growth and while we are delighted with our bright beautiful build we are secure in the knowledge that we are building for the future.”

One parent and member of staff Donna Mc Kenna said: “The environment brings all the children together, communication is greatly improved and now we are able to provide the learning environment which is available to all other pupils in Crumlin. It is a great day indeed.”