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July 26, 2012

The Department of Education & Skills announces An Foras Pátrúnachta as the patron of two new Irish-Medium secondary schools opening in Dublin in 2014.

Today, the Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairí Quinn, has announced that An Foras Pátrúnachta has been granted patronage of two new Gael-Choláistí located in Balbriggan and Dundrum in Dublin.

Caoimhín Ó hEaghra, Ard Rúnaí of An Foras Pátrúnachta spoke about the highly anticipated announcement, “An Foras Pátrúnachta welcomes the decision that it has been granted patronage of 2 new Gael-Choláistí in Balbriggan and Dundrum. It is a fantastic achievement for the parents, founding committees and all those who have relentlessly driven the campaigns for the establishment of these Gael-Choláistí. As the patron, which was specifically established to promote Irish-Medium education, we are delighted that this process allowed us to illustrate the enormous demand from parents for the model we provide.”

Ó hEaghra acknowledged and thanked the Minister, the Department and its officials for their work throughout the process. He stated that there was a clear indication from the Department that the ever increasing demand for Irish-Medium Education needed to be catered for both at primary and secondary level. Ó hEaghra went on to say that “An Foras Pátrúnachta looks forward to working with the Department in further developing the provision of Irish-Medium Education at all levels.”

The campaign for patronage of the new Gael-Choláistí gathered a lot of public attention with a huge number of parents registering their support for the new schools. An Foras Pátrúnachta is looking forward to collaborating with the Coistí Bunaithe in planning and organising for the successful opening and establishment of the schools. Ó hEaghra continued, “The founding committees have spent the last few years dedicated to the campaign for establishing these Gael-Choláistí. Everyone who has been involved is due enormous gratitude and credit for their commitment to bringing Irish-Medium second-level schools to their areas.” Tadhg Ó Tuachaigh, Chairperson of the Coiste Bunaithe for Coláiste Ghlór na Mara in Balbriggan said, “It is great news for parents and children in the area that Irish-Medium education will be available from pre-school to the Leaving Certificate.”

An Foras Pátrúnachta is currently the patron of 61 primary schools and now 5 secondary schools. The two new Gael-Choláistí will be co-educational, Multidenominational schools with an Irish language ethos. Ó hEaghra commented on the patron’s mission for its schools, “It is of paramount importance to An Foras Pátrúnachta that all our schools provide the highest standard of education through the medium of Irish.”

An Foras Pátrúnachta has also been collaborating with the founding committee in Maynooth, on a campaign for a new Gael-Choláiste in the town. The patron made an extremely strong application for a Gael-Choláiste to the Department illustrating the enormous demand from over 600 parents. Although disappointed that the Department has not sanctioned the opening of a Gael-Choláiste, An Foras Pátrúnachta welcomes the Minister’s and Department’s recognition of the demand for Irish-Medium education. The Minister’s announcement that the new English-medium second-level school will open an Aonad with a view to developing an independent Gael-Choláiste will be some solace to the parents of the area. “Although An Foras Pátrúnachta does not agree with the concept of the Aonad, the patron welcomes the Minister’s announcement indicating that An Foras Pátrúnachta will act in consultation with Kildare VEC to create a satisfactory model that will develop into an independent Gael-Choláiste.” As the only patron body established specifically to provide Irish-Medium Education, An Foras Pátrúnachta will draw on the expertise and experience within our organisation to assist with the development of the Gael-Choláiste in Maynooth.
The new Gael-Choláistí will open in September 2014 with the exact location of the schools in the designated areas to be confirmed. Parents are advised to contact An Foras Pátrúnachta for any information on the new schools.

Further information:Caitríona Bairéad, An Foras Pátrúnachta :: caitriona@foras.ie :: 01-6294110 :: www.foras.ie

AN FORAS PÁTRÚNACHTA is the largest patron of Irish medium schools in Ireland at both primary and secondary level. There are 61 primary schools and 3 secondary schools under its patronage. AN FORAS PÁTRÚNACHTA is a patron of Irish-Medium schools that have a choice of a Catholic, Multidenominational and Interdenominational (Catholic / Protestant) ethos. The vision of AN FORAS PÁTRÚNACHTA is to develop, strengthen and promote education through the medium of Irish throughout the country. AN FORAS PÁTRÚNACHTA is recognized by the Department of Education and Science as a patronage system which is acceptable and appropriate for first and second level schools. AN FORAS PÁTRÚNACHTA was founded in 1993 so that new gaelscoileanna opening in the coming years would have another choice with regard to patronage.
For more information: www.foras.ie :: @AFPatrunachta