The Minister for Education and Skills recently announced a new schools building program to cover 2016 – 2021. No new second level school for Galway was included on this list. This is despite that fact that an independent demographic study commissioned by GET2LS demonstrated a demographic need for a new school.
It is important to note, however, that Galway was mentioned in the public announcement as follows:
Emerging demographic demand also indicates that in the period after 2018 new schools may be needed in other areas. This data will be kept under continual review with a view to being updated in conjunction with the overall midterm review of the Government’s capital programme.
The data at present indicates that new schools may be necessary at post-primary level in areas such as South Kildare; Enfield (Kilcock feeder area); Galway City; North-West Dublin City; the Dublin 13 & Dublin 17 area.
Since the announcement GET2LS has requested the demographic analysis on which the Department based their decision to enable us to challenge any inaccuracies that may exist. We expect to receive this information soon and will begin analysing it immediately.
GET2LS has been in regular contact with Derek Nolan, TD, since early in our campaign. Since the announcement Deputy Nolan has suggested, both privately to GET2LS and publicly on his Facebook page, that there may be a way to start a school without an immediate commitment of capital funding. Deputy Nolan has committed his support to this and we hope to explore this possibility in the near future.
How You Can Help
We would also appreciate your help in furthering the campaign and have three requests.
- Please make your dissatisfaction at the lack of a second level Educate Together school known to your local politicians. You can contact them via Facebook, Twitter, email or in person. Please inform them of any difficulties you have had in seeking a second level school place. We are including contact details at the end of this post.
- If politicians approach you seeking votes in the upcoming election please ask them what they would do to make an Educate Together second level school in Galway a reality. The following are key points you could bring to their attention.
- There are now 5 Educate primary schools in Galway that between them accept 6 classes of junior infants each year (in Knocknacarra, Newcastle, Kilcolgan, Claregalway and Tuam).
- Over 1,200 expressions of interest in an Educate Together second level school in Galway have been collected by GET2LS.
- There is virtually no choice in terms of ethos available to children at second level in Galway and the few new ETB schools are vastly over-subscribed.
- Please continue to support GET2LS and to engage with us on social media. You can follow us on Facebook and Twitter
We have always believed that children and their parents have the right to equality-based education. While this week’s announcement has come as a setback to GET2LS, we are determined to continue the campaign until our objective of an Educate Together second level school in Galway is achieved.
We will hold a public information session in January, which we hope you will attend. We will send you details nearer to the time.
Below are contact details for some local TDs, Senators and 2016 election candidates
Lorraine Higgins (Labour) firstname.lastname@example.org
Ciaran Cannon (Fine Gael) email@example.com
Paul Connaughton (Fine Gael) firstname.lastname@example.org
Sean Canney (Independent) email@example.com
Ann Marie Roche (Sinn Féin) firstname.lastname@example.org
Michael Fahy (Independent) Caherduff, Ardrahan, Co. Galway
Ann Rabbitte (Fianna Fáil) email@example.com
Colm Keavney (Fianna Fail) firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr Noel Grealish (Independent) email@example.com
Mr Sean Kyne (Fine Gael) firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr Derek Nolan (Labour) email@example.com
Mr Eamon O’Cuiv (Fianna Fáil) firstname.lastname@example.org
Ms Hildegarde Naughton (Fine Gael) email@example.com
Mr Trevor O’Clochartaigh (Sinn Féin) firstname.lastname@example.org