Méid an Téacs


Eanáir 21, 2016

BALLINCOLLIG’S schools can’t meet the demand for Irish language education, according to Gaelscoileanna.
The national campaign group will host an information session in the Oriel House Hotel at 8pm this evening to provide parents with information on how a new primary school earmarked for the town could become a gaelscoil.

The town’s Irish education is currently provided by Gaelscoil Uí Ríordáín, but this school is oversubcribed, as are all primary schools in the town.
Last year, the Department of Education and Skills announced a number of education developments to meet the demands of Ballincollig’s growing population, including a new primary school, with work to commence in September 2017.
Gaelscoileanna want parents to get on board demand to have the new school designated as an Irish-medium multi-denominational school.
An Foras Pátrúnachta plan to apply for patronage of the school. This group are the largest patrons of Irish-medium schools in the country.
Gabriel Ó Cathasaigh, principal of Gaelscoil Uí Ríordáín, said he would welcome another Irish langauge school to the town.
“It’s a very exciting idea. I’m delighted with it, if it can happen at all,” he said.
Mr Ó Cathasaigh has been with the school since it first opened in 1983, teaching the junior infants class of just 17 pupils. “It’s grown every year since then,” he said.
Now, the school caters to 700 pupils, and will grow to 800 in the coming years.
The school was upgraded in 2012, but has now had to cut back on the number of junior infants to prevent it become over crowded in the next few years.“We could take in double if we had the room. There is a huge demand for places, a demand that we can’t meet.
“It’s very disappointing to me when people present for a place and can’t get one,” he said.
He said he would support not just a second gaelscoil, but a multi-denominational one too, as An Foras Pátrúnachta hope to provide.
“Any child can get a place in a Ballincollig school regardless of their religion, but it would be nice to have a multi-denominational school too,” he said.
He said that children who learn through Irish are bi-lingual from an early age, and can easily learn other languages later in life too.