Education Minister Batt O’Keefe’s failure to turn up at Colaiste na Coiribe was “disappointing” but the real shame was that the school has again been left with no news on whether or not it is to get an upgrade and new location.
This is the view of Fine Gael councillor Brian Walsh who said the Education Minister Batt O’Keefe’s late cancellation of a planned visit to Galway on Monday was a “huge source of disappointment to students and staff” of the school.
Parents, staff, and students are anxiously awaiting a decision by the minister to include the Irish language secondary school in the next round of the Government’s Public Private Partnership arrangements.
“We were lead to believe that the minister’s scheduled visit to the city was to coincide with a positive announcement regarding the Colaiste,” said Cllr Walsh. “While a photo opportunity for the minister and his hangers-on may have been missed, there is no excuse for delaying an announcement of his intentions regarding the future of the school.”
According to Cllr Walsh the school is currently enduring “completely unsuitable conditions” as it has to operate out of a number of different buildings and prefabs on the Tuam Road. This results in classes taking place in several different locations and students having to travel between classes at a very busy junction in all types of weather. There is also a lack of basic facilities particularly in the areas of science and technology.
However Cllr Walsh also points out that despite these problems the school is serving a real “demand for an all Irish secondary school” as there are some 1,350 applicants for the academic years 2010 to 2020, making improvements and a new building for Colaiste na Coiribe an even greater necessity.
“There are far too many examples of Galway being left behind when it comes to investment by this Government,” said Cllr Walsh. “I lay the blame for this with Minister Éamon Ó Cuív, who sits at the cabinet table where all significant decisions are made. I would appeal to him to move swiftly to insure that Colaiste na Coiribe is included in the next PPP bundle to be announced shortly