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Irish yes, but not always Catholic

April 6, 2017

The main gaelscoileanna patron body says reconfiguration of the primary school system is not only about religion

There is a lot of talk about making the education system more diverse.

Classrooms are certainly more inclusive but progress on changing the architecture of school patronage to reflect the shift in cultural and religious mores has been slow.

Much of the focus in the debate is on the place of religion in the primary school sector. A situation where 90pc of schools are under the control of the Catholic Church is regarded, even by the church itself, as not a proper reflection of the needs of modern Ireland.

A five-year-old process to divest some of the 2,900 Catholic schools to other patrons has seen no more than 10 change hands. The current education minister, Richard Bruton, has come up with a new word, reconfiguration, and a different process, to try to move it on.

The new approach is not unrelated to the arrival, in recent years, of community national schools, which are run by the education and training boards (ETBs), the successors to the VECs. The Catholic Church certainly seems amenable to them as a patron body to which it would transfer schools, and so does the minister.

Unlike the traditional multi-denominational model – which keeps religion teaching out of the classrooms altogether – community national schools, while providing a general multi-belief programme, also offer faith formation within school time, for those who want it.

Clear battle lines are drawn between Educate Together, which has been the main provider of multi-denominational schools at primary level, and ETBs, which act as patrons of the community national schools. But they are not the only ones in the field, and it is not only a religious war.

Primary school enrolments will peak in the next year or so, which means there will be very few new schools in the foreseeable future. So, a shakeout of the Catholic Church-controlled sector provides the main opportunity for patron bodies of all persuasions, religious or otherwise, to grow their presence.

An Foras Pátrúnachta is the patron for most Irish-medium schools in the country. It has some concerns that, in the current debate, its offering is not fully understood and that it may get squeezed if the reshaping of Irish primary education is seen purely through the lens of religious ethos.

Its general secretary, Caoimhín Ó hEaghra, says the issue to be confronted is not only religion but also the medium of instruction. But, if it is about religious ethos, he wants it known that he can offer all options.

An Foras Pátrúnachta’s main mission is the provision of Irish-medium schools; it is flexible on the issue of spiritual ethos, responding to local needs. Its first school, in 1993, was multi-denominational and it also has schools that are denominational (Catholic) and inter-denominational (Catholic and Protestant). So, it has ticked all the traditional boxes in terms of religion.

Now there is a another option – the one offered by community national schools, a hybrid of sorts between denominational and multi-denominational.

Last month, Ó hEaghra wrote to Richard Bruton to let him know that An Foras Pátrúnachta was adding this choice to its offering and asking him to spread the word to relevant parties.

That is a reference to the surveys to be conducted under the reconfiguration process, by ETBs, to identify towns or areas within their regions there is demand for greater school diversity. (As well as being a patron body for community national schools, the ETBs have been given this central role – to the displeasure of some.) Where demand for change is identified, there will be discussions between individual ETBs and local church interests about possible transfers.

Ó hEaghra says it provides an opportunity not only for Catholic gaelscoileanna to transfer to an Irish-medium patron, but also to establish Irish medium schools in areas where there are none, and provide multi-denominational or inter-belief education through the medium of Irish.

So, what is the demand for Irish-medium education? Ó hEaghra offers an example: Last year, a new school opened on the north side of Dublin city, serving the Marino-Drumcondra-Dublin 1 area, to cater for 450 pupils. This was not to do with divestment or reconfiguration, but a consequence of local birth rates.

Once the Department of Education decides there is sufficient demand for a new school, it invites patrons to apply, and to back up their application with evidence of parental support. In this case, An Foras Pátrúnachta produced 733 names – but almost half were from outside the qualifying area. On the other hand, Educate Together, had 643 parental preferences, 622 of which were valid, and was awarded the patronage.

Ó hEaghra says that even if many of their supporters were outside the official boundary, and many, only slightly, he says it did establish a significant demand in the area for an Irish-medium school that has not been addressed and “there remains no option for a multi-denominational gaelscoil north of the Liffey in Dublin”.

He points to a 2015 ESRI study that shows growing interest for Irish-medium education: between 2011 and 2015 there was an increase, from 13pc to 23pc, in parents who said they would consider sending their child to an all-Irish primary school, if one was located near their home. Some 4.7pc of primary schools are gaelscoileanna.

An Foras Pátrúnachta is patron to 65 primary schools and four second-level schools, with two more on the way. Ó hEaghra says that where it does establish schools at both levels the “results are formidable”.

In Kildare, it has four primary schools and one second-level. The 2011 census showed that 83,526 people in the county could speak Irish, compared with 73,373 in 2006. Ó hEaghra says they “attribute this growth directly to the success of our schools and their efforts to promote and foster an Irish speaking community in their areas. In addition to their children, parents are often motivated to re-learn Irish along with their children”.

He says that one-in-four of their schools is multi-denominational, and that the make up of their schools generally reflect the local community.

Gaelscoileanna often face charges of being elitist and allegedly only interested in children whose parents are fluent in Irish. He counters that with the results of an An Foras Pátrúnachta study, conducted in January and February, which shows that 9.6pc of its pupils are “new Irish”, compared with a national average of 10.4pc. Almost half of its schools have a higher rate of “new Irish” than the national average and, in one school, in Co Cavan, 28pc of pupils are “new Irish”.

Notwithstanding this, he says they face challenges getting their message across: “We are working to encourage more ‘new Irish’ to attend our schools. Many families are not aware of how their child’s home language/or development of English is actually enhanced by the immersion education model and that the distinctive ethos can vary from gaelscoil to gaelscoil.”

Gaeilgeoirí – and proud of it

The rapid expansion of Balbriggan in north county Dublin in the past decade has also seen it transform into a town with one of the most ethnically diverse populations in the country.

Among its primary schools is Gaelscoil Bhaile Brigín, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary.

The gaelscoil opened with 35 pupils in 2006, and now it is full to capacity with 485, including many from “new Irish” families. In some cases, one, or both, parents come from a non-Irish background. In the past two years, the school has opened two special classes for pupils with an autistic spectrum disorder (ASD).

Principal Clodagh Ní Mhaoilchiaráin says the different ethnic background of the pupils is not an issue when it comes to education through the medium of Irish, either for the children or their parents. She says children have no difficulty, including those with special educational needs: “It doesn’t matter what the child’s background is. It is shown internationally, and nationally, that learning through a second language is hugely beneficial to all children.”

On the question of the proficiency in levels in Irish of parents, she says that while “people might say that it could be difficult for them, they would attest that it is not as big a worry as it may appear before their children start in the school. There are plenty of supports”.

Irish Independent

All-Irish schools to get separate courses

March 8, 2017

Revamped junior cycle syllabus for schools with fluent speakers

A radical change in the teaching of Irish at junior cycle will see the roll-out of a separate syllabus for students in all-Irish schools from September.

For the first time, pupils in Gaeltacht and other Irish-medium schools will study the native language at a deeper level than those in other schools.

The two new programmes for Irish will be introduced for first years in September, as part of the phasing-in of junior cycle reforms. Both will be taught at higher and ordinary level.

The move to have two separate syllabi follows concerns raised by Irish language organisations about serving the needs of native speakers, or other students who are proficient, or aspire to a high proficiency, in Gaeilge.

It also sits with the Policy on Gaeltacht Education, published by the Department of Education last year. This was the first comprehensive strategy for education in Irish-speaking communities since the establishment of the State.

The strategy aims to ensure the availability of a high-quality Irish-medium educational experience for young people living in Gaeltacht areas and to foster Irish-language proficiency in the wider Gaeltacht community.

The change at junior cycle means that similar consideration will have to be given to having separate programmes in Irish for Irish-medium schools and English-medium schools for Leaving Cert students.

Government education advisers, the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA), have signed off on the new syllabi and have sent them to Education Minister Richard Bruton for final approval.

The programme aimed at English-medium schools, known as L2, is for students who use Irish as a second language and for whom the Irish class is their main engagement with Gaeilge.

The other syllabus, known as L1, is for both learners and native speakers of Irish in Gaeltacht schools and students in Irish-medium schools or all-Irish units within English-medium schools.

It is targeted at students who use the language on a daily basis, whether at home, school or in the community, and already have well-developed skills in the native tongue.

Apart from promoting richer language and vocabulary, this syllabus will have a greater focus on cultural awareness and topics such as language patterns and differentiation between dialects.

According to the NCCA, the provision of enriched language-learning experiences for all students, particularly those who are native speakers of Irish, is of utmost importance.

The hope is that the higher levels of skill and understanding developed through the L1 syllabus will support Irish speakers to take advantage of opportunities for language use in the community and play an active part in Gaeltacht life.

While the two syllabi were drawn up to meet the needs of different sectors, schools will have the option of offering both, if there is demand.

Work on the two syllabi began after the standard NCCA consultation on a proposed new syllabus for junior cycle Irish in 2015.

Serious concerns were raised about the capacity of a single syllabus to meet the needs of students of widely varying levels of proficiency and competence in the language.

In one survey, 60pc of those who replied through the English version felt that a single syllabus was adequate.

In contrast, 64pc of those who replied on the Gaeilge version disagreed.

The strong feelings led to an extension of the consultation and a forum to explore how best to address the issue, which, in turn, prompted the development of the two separate syllabi.

Irish Independent

School league tables: Country’s top schools get perfect results

January 26, 2016

When it comes to sending students on to third level, the past seven years have seen seven schools in five counties managing to deliver an extraordinary 100pc record.

Given the size of its population, it’s unsurprising that three of the country’s best-performing schools are located in Dublin. The other four members of the ‘100pc club’ are to be found in Cork, Limerick, Kerry and Tipperary.

You can explore the data on each school by  clicking here and registering

While all seven schools have maintained a perfect record in terms of placing their students in third-level institutions every year since 2009, further analysis of the data based on the percentage who were admitted to a course of study at a university makes it possible to rank them accordingly.

With 81pc of Leaving Certificate students securing a place at university between 2009 and 2015, Presentation Brothers College in the Mardyke in Cork emerges as the best performing school in the nation. The school, which charges annual fees of €3,500, also bears the distinction of having had the greatest throughput of students during the period (of those schools in the ‘100pc club’) with a total of 767 boys sitting the Leaving Certificate. Looking more closely at the figures, one finds the majority – or 542 of those graduating from the school – went on to study at University College Cork (UCC).

Coming in at number two is Mount Anville School in Goatstown, south county Dublin. The all-girls school, which charges yearly fees of €5,350, has placed 80pc of its Leaving Certificate students in universities between 2009 to 2015.

Some 381, or just over 52pc of the 726 students graduating from Mount Anville, went on to study at UCD while 147 (20pc) secured places at Trinity College.

Read more: ‘We focus on each individual student’s exact skill set’

Third is Glenstal Abbey in Limerick. While the all-boys boarding school, which charges yearly fees of €10,600 for day boarders, has equalled Mount Anville’s record of sending 80pc of its 260 graduates to university between 2009 and 2015, it comes in behind the south Dublin girls’ school on our list owing to its lower throughput of students. With an average of 37 students sitting the Leaving Certificate compared to the average of 103 who sat the exams each year at Mount Anville, Glenstal Abbey’s students could be seen to enjoy a relative advantage in terms of the individual attention they might receive.

Between 2009 and 2015, 60 of Glenstal’s Leaving Certificate students took up places at Trinity College Dublin, while 68 went to UCD, 32 went to UCC and 18 attended NUIG.

Read more: ‘It’s a real team effort here – everyone is involved’

The fourth-placed school on the list merits special mention by virtue of the fact that it is non fee-paying. According to our analysis, 78pc of students at the all-girls school, Colaiste Iosagain, in the south county Dublin suburb of Stillorgan, progressed to university between 2009 and 2015. The most popular destination for its students is UCD with 246 or over 44pc of the 552 girls who sat the Leaving Certificate during that time going there.

In assessing Colaiste Iosagain, it is worth noting that its students learn through Irish and benefit from the bonus marks awarded to those candidates who do their Leaving Certificate examinations through the language.

Fifth on the list is the €13,150 all-boys Cistercian College in Roscrea, with 71pc of its students placed in university between 2009 and 2015. UCD proved the most popular destination with 74 or 24pc of the Tipperary boarding school’s 303 leaving certificate students taking up places there between 2009 and 2015.

Read more: Hard-working schools show that better results can be achieved

St Mary’s College in Rathmines, which charges fees of €5,250 a year, came in sixth place. Some 59pc of students from the fee-paying, all boys’ school secured a place in university between 2009 and 2015.

The seventh member of our ‘100pc club’ is Tralee Community College in Co Kerry. While the non fee-paying, co-ed school sent just 3pc of its Leaving Certificate students on to university between 2009 and 2015, it has placed 100pc of them in third-level institutions. 142 of the 159 students who sat the state exams at the school went on to study at Tralee Institute of Technology.


Hottest-ever points race as number of applications soars

February 2, 2015

THE points race for sought-after college courses is set to be hotter than ever this year, as demand for third-level places hits a new high.

When the main deadline for CAO applications closed yesterday, 74,499 people had applied for a place, which is a record for this time of year.

It is up about 1,500 on the same time in 2014, reflecting the ongoing rise in school-leaver numbers and the general growth in demand for college places.

A degree or similar qualification is increasingly being seen as essential to meet the needs of the modern workplace.

Despite recent measures to cool the points race, the surge in applications for college is likely to trigger a rise in points needed to get on courses with increased competition for places this year.

Catering for such numbers will also sorely test our higher education system – which has been stretched with a 9pc cut in income, an 11pc cut in staffing but a 16pc increase in student numbers over recent years.

While 5.15pm yesterday was the standard deadline, the CAO also allows for late applicants so the overall figure is expected to rise in the months ahead.

The statistic released yesterday are only the raw applicant numbers.

There is no indication just yet of the demand for the various disciplines, such as engineering, science, health or teaching.

When the breakdown of applications by discipline becomes available in a few weeks, it will show the trends in full.

This will list student choices and give a clear indication of where the pressure points will be this year.

The ongoing rise in school-leaver numbers and the consequent rise in demand for third-level qualification is expected to continue for another decade at least.

This year’s applications figure is up from the 73,063 recorded last February, and up more than 3,000 from the 71,151 seen in 2013.

Given the improving economic situation, it is likely that construction-related fields – such as surveying and architecture – will see a further surge in demand this year.

For instance, last year applications showed a swing back to areas such as construction, which had seen an enormous dip in popularity after the economic crash.

Other areas that have seen a swing in student preferences in recent years include agriculture and engineering and technology, on the back of buoyancy in those sectors.

In fact, last year colleges laid on extra places in computing courses in a bid to address the shortage of graduates being experienced by companies in information and communications technology (ICT) fields, and soak up the renewal in interest among school-leavers in this area.

As the economy started to show the first shoots of recovery, there was also a bounce back in interest in business and professions such as law among the class of 2014, which may very well be repeated this year.

However, students who are concerned about the points race have been urged not to panic.

Changes introduced by a number of colleges this year may help to counter the rise.

Some universities have, for instance, introduced a single engineering programme for new entrants this year, instead of having a number of specialised programmes at point of entry.

Universities sometimes use the niche attraction of a specialised entry route for marketing purposes.

But it can have the effect of driving up points, only for students to find themselves sharing lectures with others in the same broad discipline that may have come in on lower points.

As well as taking the heat out of the points race, the switch to more generic entry routes would allow students to put off specialisation until the end of first year or second year, when they may have a better idea of what they want to do.

The other challenge facing third-level institutions is financial, as pressure of numbers raises concerns about the ability of the system to deliver a quality service.

An expert group has been set up to consider how higher education in Ireland should be funded into the future.

The first report from the export group, published last week, repeated warnings that, in light of the continued demand for a college place, the current funding model for third-level is not sustainable.

Its final report is due later in the year and is likely to raise the prospect of higher student contributions.

Currently, 56pc of 18-19-year-olds go on to third level, and if that rate was to continue, the demand for first year college places would rise to about 56,000 in 2028.

But, according to the report, if a lack of funding forced colleges to hold first year places at current levels, it would mean a cut to about 35,000 new entrants,. That would mean only 45pc of school leavers would be going to college, rather than 56pc.

While the overwhelming majority of CAO applicants for 2015 have now registered, the process allows for changes to course choices, at no extra cost, between May and July.

Typically about half of applicants take up that option.

The CAO also offers a late application facility from March, but certain courses are excluded.

CAO picks and the important Irish language question

January 6, 2015

Sorry, this entry is only available in Irish.

€450m school-building plan targets fast-growing areas

December 19, 2014

Education Minister Jan O’Sullivan has announced a spend of €450m on next year’s school building programme, including €280m on 70 major projects.

Among the major works are 44 new schools at primary level as well as 11 extensions, along with five new second-level schools and eight extensions and two special schools.

Projects have been announced for all but three of the 26 counties, with Kerry, Mayo and Sligo on the western seaboard, where many schools are losing numbers, not featuring on the 2015 list.

Most of the focus is on Dublin and its extended commuter belt, such as counties Louth and Wexford, as well as other major urban centres such as Cork and Galway.

Overall, more than 27,800 permanent school places – including 23,700 extra places – will be created next year to cope with rising enrolments as a result of ongoing high birth rates.

Schools at both primary and second-level will see significant increases in pupil numbers in coming years.

Total enrolment in primary schools is expected to rise by over 44,000 between now and 2017, while at second-level the increase will be in the order of 25,000. Enrolments in primary schools will peak by 2020, while at second-level they will continue to rise until at least 2026.

A €2.2bn five-year capital investment programme was launched in March 2012 with the target of creating more than 100,000 permanent school places over five years.

As well as new schools, other projects will see the replacement of temporary or unsatisfactory accommodation.

Ms O’Sullivan said her “primary aim is to ensure that there are sufficient school accommodation places in place in the education system to ensure that every child has access to a physical school place”.

Next year’s building programme will support about 3,000 construction-related jobs and more than 500 indirect jobs in 2015.

It means that 196 major school projects will be on site next year including projects continuing from 2014. A total of 42 major school projects have reached substantial completion in 2014.

The minister said that as 2015 progressed, projects scheduled to begin building in future years would be assessed to see if they were ready to go to construction earlier than planned, and if there is financial scope to do so.

The announcement was given only a cautious welcome by Gaelscoil de hIde in Fermoy, Co Cork, which said its inclusion on the list was “meaningless unless the process gets moving and fast – currently we don’t even have a site on which to construct a new school”.

The theme of last week’s protest at Gaelscoil de hIde was “frozen”, reflecting the view of the school community that the project was “frozen in time”.

Irish Independent

Cork schools lay down early marker in the Harty Cup

October 3, 2014

Of the six Cork sides taking part, five were victorious, with Charleville CBS the only one to lose, against another school from the Rebel County, St Francis College of Rochestown, in Group Three.

Two goals in the second half from Shane Kingston were crucial for Rochestown in their 2-14 to 0-13 win, while Ciarán Cormack was in excellent form from frees.

In the other game in that group, Declan Dalton scored 1-14 for Pobalscoil na Tríonóide of Youghal as they beat Our Lady’s Secondary School, Templemore by 2-15 to 2-13.

In Group One, holders Ardscoil Rís beat Blackwater CS by 1-20 to 0-9 with Ronan Lynch scoring 1-9. Elsewhere, Thurles CBS beat St Flannan’s by 5-26 to 0-6. Captain Ronan Teehan scored 1-8 with Robbie Long and Niall Heffernan grabbing 1-3, Brendan Kelly 1-2 and Paul Kennedy five points.

In Group Two, both St Colman’s College, Fermoy and Gaelcholáiste Mhuire AG were victorious, beating Scoil na Tríonóide Naofa of Doon – last year’s beaten finalists – and Waterford’s De La Salle respectively.

Evan Ó Síocháin’s goal helped Gaelcholáiste Mhuire to a 1-14 to 1-10 win, with Dayne Ó Laoi, Dan Ó Conaing and Daithí Braham among the points.

Bandon’s Hamilton High School, beaten semi-finalists last year, got their Group Four campaign off a to a winning start as goals from Eoin O’Reilly, Cathal Maguire, Colm Dinneen and Jonathan Mulcahy gave them a 4-10 to 2-13 win against Nenagh CBS at Buttevant.

Elsewhere in that group, two goals in quick succession from Glen Waters and Mikey Phelan helped Dungarvan CBS to a 2-11 to 0-7 win over CBS High School Clonmel. Darragh Lyons’ points were valuable for Dungarvan while David Roberts impressed for Clonmel.

Irish Independent

Irish in vogue as foreign languages fall out of favour

August 13, 2014

More Leaving Cert students may be brushing up on their Irish, but foreign languages, in demand from employers, are losing favour.

Growing numbers of candidates are opting for higher level Irish, up to 40pc this year, showing a steady rise from 37pc two years age.

It is attributed to a change introduced some years ago to award up to 40pc of marks for the oral side of the exam. The initiative is achieving its aim, with 18,134 higher level candidates this year, compared with 16,665 in 2013.

Students clearly are much more comfortable chatting as Gaeilge to the examiners than grappling with the grammatical constructions of the native tongue.

However, while more students are opting for higher level Irish, big numbers still avoid the subjects. About 20pc of Leaving Certificate students are excused from the 
otherwise compulsory requirement to study Irish, either because of a learning difficulty or because they were not in the Irish education system before a certain age.

Meanwhile, there is an ongoing decline in the numbers taking French and German.

Tony Donohoe of the employers’ organisation, noted that this year less than13pc of candidates took German, while 49pc took French.

“We continue to see significant numbers of unfilled job vacancies 
that require modern languages.

“It’s vital that we don’t find ourselves at a competitive disadvantage when it comes to selling into global markets and attracting foreign investment,” Mr Donohoe said.

Katherine Donnelly

Irish Independent

GAA legend O Se kick-starts drive to lobby for new school

June 20, 2014

The All Ireland-winning footballer and Irish Independent’columnist analyst is fronting a new campaign to get a decent building for the overcrowded gaelscoil where he works.

As far back as 2011, the 394-pupil Gaelscoil de hIde, Fermoy, Co Cork, was promised a new building to cater for its increasing enrolments. In fact, they were told it would be ready in September 2014 – but the wait goes on.

The almost-400 pupils squeeze into a school built for 280 with many classrooms are half the size of the standard classroom. And the play area is totally inadequate.

Former storage rooms, libraries and cloak halls have had to be converted into classrooms with some classes located uncomfortably close to the toilets.

The outdoor facilities are no better. Pupils must use the small tarmac area at the rear of the school on a ‘traffic-light’ style system as it can only cater for limited numbers at one time.

It is something that really grates with the GAA star, who described it as “a ridiculous situation, the worst I’ve ever seen and the children are being deprived”. He said: “Physical education is such an important part of a child’s development and it’s awful that we as teachers have to tell the children they can’t even run during the morning break.

“Exercise is crucial for children. The ‘healthy body, healthy mind’ concept is completely accurate.

“I grew up in a country school and we could blow off steam at break and play games to our hearts content.

“The children here can’t. It’s unacceptable and it’s wrong.”

The school also suffers from a lack of adequate drop-off or parking facilities for parents.

Principal Sean Mac Gearrailt said there has been years of work by the school board, parents, staff and pupils.

“I am totally frustrated at the extremely slow pace by public bodies in securing a site,” he said.

Now they have formed Gaelscoil de hÍde New School Action Group to lobby local public representatives – including Junior Minister Sean Sherlock – which is kicking off with a postcard campaign.

Meanwhile, Munster’s first Community National School is to be built in a record time of 36 weeks, after construction starts in the New Year.

The school will be built at Castlepark, Mallow, Co Cork, by a new rapid response unit of the Department of Education and Skills.

The Cork Education and Training Board (ETB) CEO, Ted Owens said it will have an eight classrooms with specialist and ancillary rooms including two special education tuition rooms, an external ball court and a play area.

A principal will be appointed shortly and enrolments for the new school have already commenced.

Irish Independent

Feast of rugby in the sunny south east

May 30, 2014

Friday, May 15, 2014 is a day many a primary school pupils will remember for a while to come. On this beautiful day, with the sun splitting the stones in Wexford Wanderers’ Park Lane, over 300 boys and girls from Blackwater, Screen, Curracloe, Crossabeg, Kilrane Gaelscoil, St John of God Mercy School and Coolcotts National Schools took part in the annual Tag Rugby end of season blitz.

This year was a special one as the Girls Community Games was added to the already busy Echo Newspaper Tournament.

The Bill Kelly Resort Hotel and People Newspaper tournaments were also facilitated at the same venue and time. It made for a busy day for all concerned!

The pitch was in magnificent condition and with the fine weather, it was a joy for all to participate in.

Seven teams competed in the Bill Kelly Tournament. Blackwater NS and Gaelscoil contested the final, with Gaelscoil eventually winning the trophy.

The People Newspaper Trophy was contested by Kilmore NS and Coolcotts, with Kilmore winning a hard-fought final.

Co-ordinator on the day was Wexford CCRO Noel Ferguson, assisted by Aoife Hennessy on work experience with Sports Active Wexford. Fran Ronan from Sports Active Wexford was overseeing and was involved in the activities on the day. Referees were CCRO’s Ross Barbour (Enniscorthy), PJ Clince (Gorey), Noel Ferguson and Sean O’Corcoragh.

This was a hugely successful day for all involved, including Leinster Rugby, Wexford Co Council Schools Community Partnership, Sports Active and Wexford Community Games and, of course, the kids.


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