Junior minister stands over promise that suitable site chosen for gaelscoil

A row over the building of a new gaelscoil has resulted in a junior minister stating he fully stands over his promise that a suitable site has been found for it.

Councillors based in north Cork have written to the minister for education seeking clarity over pre-local election statements which suggested that a suitable site had been found in Fermoy for the new gaelscoil.

Gaelscoil de hIde is seriously overcrowded and, for a number of years, the Department of Education has been looking for a site for a new school. Classrooms are cramped and portable buildings are now in the yard, which is curtailing PE and playtime activities.

Prior to the elections, then Minister for Research and Innovation Sean Sherlock announced that a new site had been found at Duntahane Road, on the southside of the town. However, some councillors expressed doubts over this after receiving a letter from the Department of Education which said they are making inquiries about the matter.

Cllr Frank O’Flynn (FF) said that three years ago the gaelscoil was told funding was available for a new school and there was still a problem in acquiring a site.

His party colleague Cllr Kevin O’Keeffe said that the Department of Education had previously promised that the school would be built and opened by next September.

“There’s still no confirmation of a site,” he added.

Council officials couldn’t shed any light on it either at a meeting which took place in Mallow earlier this week.

Mr Sherlock said “without any shadow of a doubt” a site has been chosen.

“As a minister I personally shepherded this process. Any public statements to that effect have been correct. I can assure you that I have had numerous discussions with county council officials on this matter and I fully intend to see this process through,” he said.


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