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Planning bid to be made for Fermoy school

February 4, 2015

A long-running battle for a new gaelscoil building in a North Cork town seems to be nearing an end.

A planning application will be lodged with the local authority shortly, it was claimed yesterday.

The Gaelscoil de hÍde New School Action Group welcomed reports a project manager had been appointed by the Department of Education to progress the architectural design of the 24-classroom school, to be built at Duntahane Rd, Fermoy.

The action group said it had been informed by department officials they will meet with Cork County Council before formal planning approval was sought.

Prior to the planned meeting, the school’s board of management is invited to the department’s offices in Tullamore, Co Offaly, to view plans before submission to the council.

Department officials have reportedly indicated construction should commence later this year with a scheduled opening in September 2016.

The proposed new school would include ample playground space, a communal hall and ancillary rooms.

“Once a formal planning application is lodged, the action group is hoping our locally elected councillors can monitor the process and assist with any potential delays,” spokeswoman Vivienne Dempsey said.

Currently, 410 pupils occupy a cramped former vocational school on MacCurtain St, in the centre of the town. The original school was designed to cater for half that number.

Almost 1,000 parents, teachers, pupils and friends have previously taken to the streets of Fermoy to highlight their plight. They were led by former All-Ireland winning Kerry footballer, Tomás Ó Sé, a teacher at the school.

The most recent protest saw Weddings By Franc owner Peter Kelly, who has children attending Gaelscoil de hÍde, use a snow machine to cover it to mimic the Dis-ney hit film Frozen in a reference to delays in building the new school.

In December 2011, funding was reportedly guaranteed for the project and initially the new building was to have opened last September.