Joy as pupils get to wave goodbye to prefabs

Pupils, parents and staff of an East Cork gaelscoil cheered the news that work should begin on their long-awaited new school building within three years.

Although the project is listed as going to construction in 2014 or 2015, it is a welcome commitment for all concerned at Gaelscoil Mhainistir na Chorann in Midleton.

Principal Máiréad Uí Fhloinn, said they were delighted to finally see a commitment in writing on the Department of Education website. The school has been operating from the Midleton Community Centre and prefab classrooms alongside it since 1999.

“We will have to get through the next few years in the space we have and with increasing enrolments, but we’re hopeful that things will be moved forward speedily,” she said.

The 389-pupil school has 14 teachers and a number of special needs teachers, but growing interest from local families will see it become a 20-teacher school next September.

Ms Uí Fhloinn said the department expects it will become a 24-classroom school in the next few years. “There are still some site options, but we have a commitment now and the school board and parents’ association will be keeping the pressure on to ensure the commitment is met.

“We have been here since 1999 and we’ve had a lot of setbacks down the years, so we’re looking at this very positively,” she said.

The news was mixed for a number of Cork schools, including St Angela’s College in the city centre where planning permission was granted late last year for an extension and refurbishment first promised in 1999.

The €10m project has been listed to begin construction in 2015 or 2016, which local minister of state Kathleen Lynch said would provide a campus to be proud of and much-needed construction jobs.

Gaelscoil an Ghoirt Álainn’s controversial project on the Tank Field in Mayfield, has been pencilled in for building work to begin next year.

The granting of planning for the 16-classroom school by An Bord Pleanála in December was greeted with disappointment by some local residents, concerned about the loss of the field as a public amenity, after city councillors had voted against rezoning for the project last July.


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