17 Mar 2012

Public Meeting Report

Attendees

Paudie Coffey TD; John Halligan TD; Ciara Conway TD; Senator David Cullinane; Councillor Joe Conway

Apologies

Maxine Keoghane, Mayor of Tramore; John Deasy TD

Meeting Summary

All gathered were welcomed by the Principal, Daithi de Paor, on behalf of the Board of Management. He stated that the school community was greatly disappointed by the school’s omission from the DES list for school building projects to go to construction over the next five years. It was ironic, he said, that this week the school was informed that architects had been finally appointed to design and build a Gaelscoil at Crobally Upper.

John Halligan, TD, said that he had met the Minister Ruairí Quinn on the matter during the week and he did not seem to be aware of the circumstances pertaining to the school.

Paudie Coffey spoke and stated his longstanding support for the school’s struggle for a permanent building going back to when he raised it in the Seanad in 2008. He was disappointed that the school was not include in the list but did not feel that this could be reversed. The school might be included in the list at a later date if a project failed to progress.

Ciara Conway stated that she was personally connected with the school as she had attended Naíonra Philib Barún. She said the Minister was aware of the school’s circumstances.

Senator David Cullinane said he had raised the matter in the Seanad on Tuesday last and would do so again the following week.

John Kindlon, Principal of Holy Cross school citing the ESRI report on school buildings and the unsuitability of prefabricated classrooms.

Councillor Joe Conway reiterated his support for the school community in its struggle to get a permanent building.

A number of parents spoke and expressed anger and disgust at the treatment of the school by the Minister and his department. Among the speakers were: Donagh Ward; Nelly Cuddihy; John Hayes; Jim Heylin; Aideen Lynch; Jonathan Moore; Elaine Kelly

Caitríona Ní Chuirrín, spoke on behalf of the staff and cited the practical difficulties with teaching in a prefab.

Two pupils, Lumi Kanwei and Finn O’Connor read a letter written by the 6th class outlining their objections to prefabs. Finn remarked on the size of the newly built hall in Holy Cross NS where he had recently visited.

The meeting concluded with a joint undertaking by the attending public representatives to ask the Minister, Ruairi Quinn to meet with them and a delegation from the school as soon as possible.