A school’s long-running campaign for a new home is coming closer to a conclusion after Cork County Council granted planning permission to a significant new school development in Fermoy.
The local authority has granted permission for a three-storey, 24-classroom Gaelscoil on a two-hectare site in Fermoy. The move would bring to an end years of complaints over conditions in the existing school.
Concerns of overcrowding at Gaelscoil de hÍde on Fermoy’s main street prompted petitions, letter-writing campaigns and a march that brought the town’s traffic to a standstill.
It is now estimated that the approximately 400 pupils of the school will move into the new premises on the outskirts of the town by December, barring any objections to the development.
“Initially sanctioned by the Department of Education in 2011 the wait to get to this stage has been unacceptably long and the process, at times, vague and unwieldy”, the Gaelscoil de hÍde New School Action Group said in a statement yesterday.
“Today we celebrate progress on this project but our frustration that it has taken so long to come about is not concealed,” the statement added. Gaelscoil de hÍde principal Sean Mac Gearailt described the latest development as a relief and thanked politicians for supporting the work of parents and staff.
“Unfortunately some of our older pupils won’t see the fruits of their parents’ labours,” Mr Mac Gearailt said.
He also said the new site will provide children with a proper playground, and remove the school from Fermoy’s main street. This would prove beneficial for children’s safety and for the town’s traffic, he said,.
Cork East minister Seán Sherlock said the school will be built using the Department of Education’s Rapid Design and Build Programme.
He said the programme is no different to traditional builds, except that it utilises a different form of contract and has a faster build programme. Mr Sherlock said parents who might have concerns about the build should view the Gaelscoil in Midleton, which is being built using the same programme.
“This is an important milestone that will secure Gaelscoileanna in Mainisitir Fhear Maí for a very long time to come,” he said.
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