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Protest March to demand accommodation for Coláiste Ráithín, April 25th

April 24, 2012

Coláiste Raithín Parents Association Protest March to Department of Education and Skills on Wednesday, 25th April 2012 at 14.30, to demand a new school building for Coláiste Raithín to open by 2014

In light of the Minister’s recent roll out of the DES new buildings and extensions programme for the next 5 years and beyond, which does NOT include any provision AT ALL for Coláiste Ráithín, the parents believe that the time has come to take direct action to protect the valuable education resource in north Wicklow that is Coláiste Ráithín.  Negotiations with the Minister and the Department of Education and Science, Wicklow VEC (the patrons of Coláiste Raithín), Wicklow T.D.’s, Bray Town Council, especially in the last 6 months, have all yielded no real, tangible  progress. The Parents most recent letter to the Minister has even gone without acknowledgement.

On Wednesday, 25th April 2012 at 14.30, pupils from non-exam years in Coláiste Raithín accompanied by parents, will protest at the Department of Education and Skills and hand in a replacement Information Pack to the Minister.  This large pack (previously sent to the Minister) contains the bulk of the correspondence from the last 16 years or more, the period over which many parents committees have been negotiating for a new school building.  Parents want Minister Ruari Quinn to take action to resolve the current Catch-22 situation in which the Coláiste now finds itself.  This protest march is only the first of many planned until the matter is resolved- a second Protest March is already planned to take place on Wednesday 2nd of May to the Dáil.

While there seems to be general agreement amongst all parties that a new school building is required, there seems to be NO URGENCY to resolve this matter. This is particularly worrying for both current and future pupils and their parents, given that a brand new state of the art school is planned for 2014 in Blacklion, Greystones, a distance of only 4 miles from Coláiste Raithín.  Such a new school facility can only have a huge negative impact on Coláiste Raithín and its future as it is right in the centre of its unique catchment area.  Parents are demanding that it is now time to bring this long outstanding matter to an immediate and satisfactory conclusion.

Therefore, in order that a new school building for Coláiste Ráithín be open by September 2014, the committee request the Minister to do the following urgently:

– all outstanding issues regarding the current proposed Bray site be determined immediately;
– the Blacklion site be made a default option only to be exercised if the Old Bray Gold Club site is not available immediately;
– guarantee parity of esteem and equality of resources for the only Gaelcholáiste in North Wicklow;
– make the relocation of Coláiste Ráithín into a new school building, to open in September 2014, an absolute priority

NOTE: A relocated Coláiste Ráithín, in its entirety, includes staff, ethos and existing policies, including its current policies of admission for all its feeder schools in the area outlined above.

For further information, please contact: Paul Moore, spokesperson from Coiste Cóiríochta Coláiste Ráithín / 086 838 5049 / pmoore@iol.ie

Members of north Wicklow community can sign the petition in hard copy at Coláiste Ráithín or online at: http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/colaisteraithinnewschoolbuilding2014/