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Four Irish schools set to open in North

July 30, 2010

Four new Irish language primary schools will open in Northern Ireland in September, Education Minister Caitríona Ruane has announced.

The schools are Gaelscoil an tSeancha, Magherafelt; Gaelscoil na mBeann, Kilkeel; Gaelscoil Léim an Mhadaidh, Limavady; and Gaelscoil Choin Rí Uladh, Ballymena. The decision was made on the basis of growing demand for Irish language education, said Ms Ruane. Funding from the Department of Education will be conditional on the schools achieving admissions thresholds and proving their long-term viability.

Tom Elliott MLA, of the Ulster Unionist Party, criticised Ms Ruane’s stance on Irish-medium education, claiming that, on average, pupils in Irish-medium schools receive £460 per annum more than those in mainstream schools. Mr Elliott had previously expressed concern over preferential treatment of Irish-medium pupils.But Comhairle na Gaelscolaochta chief executive Seán Coinn welcomed the decision, and said it reflected a growing confidence in the merits of bilingual education.

The Irish Times – Hugh McDowell
30 Iúil 2010