FEARS over the future of Buncrana’s Gaelscoil Coláiste Chineál Eoghain have been allayed following confirmation that it is to remain open.
A meeting took place on Monday afternoon at the offices of the Donegal Education Training Board in Letterkenny, where it was confirmed that the school will not close.
Minister of State Joe McHugh TD has welcomed the news and stated: “Following this afternoon’s meeting between representatives from the Donegal Education Training Board (ETB) regarding the future of Coláiste Chineál Eoghain, Buncrana’s Gaelscoil, I welcome confirmation that the intention to close the school will not be going ahead.
“This news will come as a welcome relief to students, parents, teachers, and the community as a whole, who have been very concerned during recent weeks, following the announcement that the school would be closing down.
He continued: “I wish to acknowledge the commitment from Minister for Education and Skills Jan O’ Sullivan, and the Department of Education for working together with the ETB, in order to obtain a solution. The result from this collaboration means the school will be provided with the necessary support and resources to ensure the long-term viability of the school.
“I visited the school the morning following the closure announcement and spoke to members of the school Board and the ETB. The principal, staff and parents were visibly upset and hugely concerned at the news, and there was an urgent need for assistance and reassurance, from both the Department and at a local level.
“A public meeting was held in Buncrana’s The Exchange two weeks ago, where I met with parents of the students in a public forum. Everyone who attended the meeting was given an opportunity to voice their concerns and it was decided that all three Donegal North East representatives would organise a cross-party meeting with Shaun Purcell, CEO of the ETB. The concerns and anxiety expressed at the public meeting were relayed to Mr Purcell, it was a positive meeting and I welcome today’s confirmation on the back of these efforts.
“I want to acknowledge the efforts of Cllr. Martin Harley and Cllr. Jimmy Kavanagh, both of whom are members of the ETB, who I have been in regular contact with over the past few weeks and who have been working hard to ensure a positive solution was found.
“I commend the work of all involved and who played a role in today’s news, I believe that Coláiste Chineál Eoghain is hugely important in the Inishowen peninsula in promoting, protecting and preserving the Irish language and our heritage, this will benefit not only the students of the school, but also the parents and local community.”