THE principal of De La Salle College in Macroom has described the bureaucracy in getting a new school built as ‘frustrating’.
John Murphy was speaking following a meeting in the school on Tuesday night attended by over 120 people. The meeting was held to register both parents and staff’s unhappiness at the failure of the Department of Education and Science to include the school in the next capital school building programme.
‘We’re at a bit of a stalemate now as we’re not even considered for the projects listed for the period 2016-2021 and we won’t be on any list until the new programme is ready,’ principal John Murphy told The Southern Star.
‘This has been going on for years, and goes back as far as 1998 and yet we haven’t moved forward despite our plans for a full-time build on a new greenfield site, which belongs to the Church and is adjoining the Town Park. With pupil numbers increasing we are already at 130% capacity with extensions already in place. Our academic performance is high but our facilities are not up to scratch and we need an upgrading of our special needs facility too.’
John hopes that lobbying the new government following the election will get the school back on the list.
‘We’ve been told that we can be added to it, but we need commitment as this can’t continue. The next step for us is to get our public representatives to lobby their own parties for progress to be made. This is a no-brainer situation,’ added John.
Cllr Aindrias Moynihan (FF), who attended the meeting, described the move by the Department of Education and Science as a ‘disappointing blow to the entire school community’.
‘The site is available free of charge and the needs of the students, including the expected increased enrolment of children with special educational needs, must be met,’ said Cllr Moynihan.
‘There is no doubt that the existing school accommodation is not up to the required standard and investment is needed,’ added Cork North West TD Michael Creed.
Meanwhile, in Kinsale his week, the long struggle to provide a new school for Summercove received another setback with the refusal of An Bord Pleanála to grant an appeal to replace some of the existing prefab rooms with a permanent structure.
Virgil Horgan, chairman of the Board of Management of Summercove National School said this was a deplorable decision.
It had been met with great disappointment by parents, children and teachers, he said.