Castlebar will have an Educate Together School open for the new school year, Jaralth Munnelly, the regional devlopment officer for Educate Together, said this week. Munnelly, who is also a Fine Gael member of Mayo County Council, told the Mayo Advertiser yesterday: "We will have the school open in Castlebar for the new school year, we are looking at a number of suitable venues for the school to open in and we have two that we are looking very hard and hope to have it sorted by the end of the week. We have been in touch with parents through the whole situation which has developed, and the school should be up and running when the school term comes back."
The long running saga of getting an Educate Together school opened in Castlebar has had another snag just weeks before the school is due to open. In July the elected members of the Castlebar Municipal District gave the go ahead for the use of the former offices of the defunct Castlebar Town Council for the school. A formal planning application for the school was lodged with Mayo County Council, which was given approval by the council on July 19.
Since then there have been two objections to the granting of the planning permission for the school, one by Independent councillor Frank Durcan, the only councillor to oppose the use of the old town council offices for the school at July's meeting of Castlebar Municipal District, and a second by local residents James and Margaret Keane who have an address at Newtown in Castlebar.
In his objection to An Bord Pleanala, submitted on August 4, Cllr Durcan listed 19 grounds for his objections, while James and Margaret Keane submitted an appeal on August 12 that had 10 subsections outling their objections with more than 30 observations.
This was the latest snag in the opening of an Educate Together School in the town, which was first supposed to open last year, but the school that had been pledged to the State by the Catholic Church in the Burren was deemed to be not suitable and was too far from the town. Suitable alternative arrangements could not be sorted out for the school last year at short notice. However this time around it seems that the school will open in a town centre location for the new school term.