GAA star Tomás Ó Sé in fight for gaelscoil

Pupils from Gaelscoil de hÍde in Fermoy, Co Cork, with teacher and Kerry footballer Tomás Ó Sé, as they fight for a new school which they were  promised would be opened in 2014/2015. Picture: Dermot FitzGerald

Kerry football legend Tomás Ó Sé is helping to lead the fight for a new gaelscoil amid concern it may not be built as quickly as promised.

Ó Sé, a teacher at Gaelscoil de hÍde, Fermoy, is part of an action group which has been formed to lobby politicians to live up to a promise to build its 394 pupils a new school.

The Department of Education promised a new facility would be opened in 2014/2015, but according to the Sunday Game pundit this seems unlikely as a site hasn’t even been identified yet.

The five-time All Ireland-winner, who has taught at the school for the past 14 years, said the pupils are having to deal with seriously cramped conditions and the situation is going to get worse because more numbers are being taken in every year.

“Many classrooms are half the size of the standard classroom. We have two resource teachers operating in a computer room and we’ve a portable building in the yard.

“The kids have to walk around the yard now at break time, when they just want to run about,” Mr Ó Sé said.

“Exercise is crucial for children. 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 and it’s unacceptable. It’s wrong.”

The action group is urging people in the Fermoy area to send a postcard featuring the pupils to as many politicians as they can in order to get the project moved on.

In 2011 the Government pledged that a new multi-purpose facility would be built to facilitate growing numbers at the school and funding has been earmarked under the capital schools building programme.

However, according to Mr Ó Sé, to date no site has been officially designated.

Initially the school was told the new building would open in time for this school year.

This was then moved back to 2015, and now it seems that target date will also not be met either.

“We know we’re going to get a new school at some stage, but with all the red tape it is likely to surpass the 2015 date which will be a huge blow to pupils, teachers and parents,” he said.

“I am totally frustrated at the extremely slow pace by public bodies in securing a site for our new school. The school community deserve a new school now,” principal Seán Mac Gearailt said.


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