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New building confirmed for Skibbereen Gaelscoil

May 29, 2015

THERE was good news for Skibbereen town when Minister of State at the Department of Education Damien English TD confirmed a new school building for the staff and students on a visit to Gaelscoil Dr Uí Shúilleabháin.

The school which is 21-years-old has been looking for a permanent building for many years and has been accommodated in temporary pre fab structures for almost all of its existence. The Minister was accompanied by local Fine Gael TD Jim Daly who was a former principal teacher at the school prior to his election as a TD for West Cork.

The site for Gaelscoil Dr Uí Shúilleabháin’s new build is on the site of Rossa College and is currently being transferred from the Cork ETB to the Department of Education. Minister English confirmed that the Department of Education has agreed to the building of a four class room new school building with appropriate ancillary accommodation which will include a General Purpose room, Library and Resource area, multi purpose room and office space. The new development will make provision for up to 70% expansion in the current enrolment.

Minister English advised the School management that when the school signs up for the new proposals, his Department will begin the next steps to secure planning and proceed to tender and then construction.

“I was delighted to travel to West Cork to visit the Gaeilscoil in Skibbereen with Deputy Jim Daly. My Department has approved this worthy and much needed new school building in principle. The necessary resources and funding will be made available to bring the project from design, to planning and through to the construction stage.

“Having viewed the current accommodation at the school, I look forward to the early progression of this project and will ensure every assistance is made available during this process,” he said.

Deputy Jim Daly expressed his delight at what he described as “Very long overdue but none the less welcome good news,” for parents, students and staff of the Gaelscoil in Skibbereen.

“I tried to progress this project as principal over a decade ago when money was plentiful and development taking place at every cross roads but to no avail. I am so happy for the school community to see this dream finally become a reality. Investment in our young people and their education system will reap multiple dividends for generations to come,” he said.

Jim Daly TD who is vice chairman of the Oireachtas Education Committee also confirmed that he discussed with Minister English the next priority for Skibbereen which he believes should be to develop the potential offered by the amalgamation of the three secondary schools to establish a full time third-level campus on the site of the former Rossa College.


Clon Gaelscoil says “Go raibh maith agat” for iPads

January 23, 2015

GAELSCOIL Mhichíl Uí Choileáin in Clonakilty has expressed a “Go raibh maith agat” mór to school families, businesses and the general public following a successful old mobile phone collection which has resulted in the provision of two iPads for ASD pupils in the school from Irish Autism Action.

Last March, the school launched a public appeal to the general public to donate old mobile phones. 10 businesses and the local County Council Recycling staff placed collection boxes on their premises to which the general public placed their old phones. There was also a great response from the general school community.?As a result of these combined efforts, nearly 400 phones were collected and Autism Ireland donated two iPads to ASD Unit at the school recently as a result.?The initial ASD class was set up in the Gaelscoil in September 2011, and there are now 13 pupils ranging from three to 11 years attending three classes.

Teachers and SNA’s have found that iPads are a vital tool of communication for the pupils. Many children with autism have communication difficulties, with some being non-verbal, and iPads loaded with specific language and communication apps open up the world of communication.

Pupils can construct sentences allowing them to express their opinions, wishes and needs which their fellow pupils and adults can easily understand.?School Principal Carmel Nic Airt explained that the school has been providing a full Primary school placement for Children with diagnosed ASD – the only service of its kind in the West Cork area, since last September.

“We have marvellous facilities, including a €43,000 purpose-built Multi-Sensory room, an Occupational Therapy Hall and dedicated Speech and Language rooms along with teachers and SNA’s in the school who together bring out the best in our pupils with autism. We have seen the advantages that iPads bring to the children over the last couple of years but unfortunately we don’t have enough for all the pupils at present.

“We are very thankful to the local businesses and workplaces that accepted collection boxes in their premises and collected the old phones for us, as well as the families of the school who bring in their old phones to us. We want to especially thank the staff at the Council Recycling Centre who have been putting old phones aside for us and these meant that we got our iPads sooner than we expected. This however is an ongoing campaign and we again appeal to the good people of Clonakilty and beyond to please drop their old phones to us so we can continue to purchase more IPads for our very special pupils,” she said.

The phones can be dropped off at O’ Donovan’s Hotel, Clonakilty Library, Quality Hotel, Park Leisure Centre, Harte’s Spar, Scally’s SuperValu, Technology Park, Carbery Milk Products, Irish Yogurts, the Vodafone Shop and Clonakilty Recycling Centre.


22 Eanáir 2015

Ní Riada praises Clonakilty Gaelscoil for ‘resounding success’ in Comenius Scheme

October 21, 2014

Scéal sa West Cork Times

Clon gaelscoil raise funds for Jason’s jeep

September 30, 2014

GAELSCOIL Mhichíl Uí Choileáin participated in the recent no uniform day when pupils in all schools throughout West Cork were encouraged to come to school in plain clothes and make donations to the Jeep for Jason campaign; €630 was raised by the Gaelscoil pupils.

The school also held a coffee day and cake sale with proceeds divided between the Jeep for Jason campaign; Just One and the school’s ASD Unit; this realised another €315 for Jason’s Jeep.

A cheque totalling €945 from the two fundraisers was presented by Príomhoide of Gaelscoil Mhichíl Uí Choileáin Ms Carmel Nic Airt to representatives of the Ballinascarthy Community Association who are spearheading the Jeep for Jason campaign.


Clonakilty Mayor opens new “Le Chéile” facility at Gaelscoil

September 30, 2014

MAYOR of Clonakilty Colette Twomey recently performed the official opening of the new “Le Chéile” facility at the local Gaelscoil Mhichíl Uí Choileáin. “Le Chéile” is a new state-of-the-art facility on the school grounds which Gaelscoil pupils can attend before and after normal school times.

Príomhoide of An Gaelscoil, Ms. Carmel NicAirt said that the facility was put in place in response to some parents working away from Clonakilty during the day who had difficulties delivering and collecting near school times.

“They approached us to enquire if we would consider putting a service in place whereby the children could be dropped off earlier in the mornings, or stay on up to 6.00pm in the evenings in a supervised setting. We conducted a survey among our school families to ascertain interest and proceeded with the facility during the summer as a result.It is a local initiative, responding to a local need”, she said emphasising that “Le Chéile” is not part of any franchise or company but a Gaelscoil service for families of the Gaelscoil.

Named “Le Chéile”, (the Irish word for “Together”), the not-for-profit facility employs Kate Ní Shúilleabháin who has a degree in Childcare and has six years experience in childcare work already. It is expected to expand over the coming months with two other employees being taken on.

Mayor Colette Twomey praised the initiative whereby the school has responded to parents needs. “It’s a win, win situation with employment created, and parents assured that their children are cared for in a professional environment on the school campus outside of usual school hours”, she said as she wished the facility and the Gaelscoil well into the future.


Invitation to artists to create for Clonakilty gaelscoil

July 10, 2014

ARTISTS of any genre who are interested in being considered for a “Per Cent Art Project” at Gaelscoil Mhichíl Uí Choileáin, Cloch na gCoillte, Iarthair Chorcaí (Clonakilty), are invited to submit an expression of interest to the Bórd Bainistíochta before 25th July.

All expressions must be made via e-mail to iarratasai@gmail.com

It is envisaged that the Board of Management will meet with those who email and relevant issues will be discussed at that stage, after which the interested artists will be invited to submit their proposals.

The “Per Cent for Art” scheme is a government initiative, first introduced in 1988, whereby 1% of the cost of any publicly funded capital, infrastructural and building development can be allocated to the commissioning of a work of art.

Gaelscoil Mhichíl Uí Choileáin is a completely new building which opened in August 2013.

Principal Ms Carmel Nic Airt said, “West Cork and indeed the whole of Ireland is full of creative people in diverse disciplines. We welcome expressions of interest from Artists, Musicians, Writers, Film-makers, Dance Artists, Drama Practitioners, etc. to create something unique and relevant to our school, it’s history, function and place in the world.

“This is an exciting project and we look forward to hearing from creators of art in all it’s guises over the coming few weeks”.

All details about the scheme are available at