A local city councillor is urging Education Minister Batt O’Keeffe to put building a new premises for the Knocknacarra based Irish secondary school Colaiste na Coiribe at the top of his priority list.
Former mayor Cllr Catherine Connolly says the Minister will visit Galway next week and is expected to make an announcement on the matter.
She welcomed the unanimous support for her motion - which called on him to include the new school in the “bundle of new schools” to be announced shortly - at the Galway City Council meeting earlier this week.
Cllr Connolly says the city council and the City VEC have taken all necessary steps to make the new school a reality.
“In this regard over the last 10 years, the site in question (5.89 acres ) behind Fana Burca estate in Knocknacarra was acquired by the city council by way of compulsory purchase. It was then purchased from the city council by the VEC. Subsequently this body sought outlying planning permission for the new school and this was granted.”
She says the Board of Management of Colaiste na Coiribe, members of the City VEC, and the parents of pupils at the school have long campaigned for new premises which will cater for 750 pupils.
“The importance of an all Irish secondary school in a city which is the bilingual capital of the country cannot be overestimated. Furthermore, the amount of money currently wasted on renting and leasing sufficient space to cater for the current number of students in addition to the figure of more than €250,000 to furnish a private store to function as classrooms, is most unacceptable.
“It makes more economic sense to build a new school which would in addition provide employment and give a huge stimulus to the local economy.”
Councillor Connolly says it is important that the concerns of the local residents in Fana Burca are addressed.
“They are fully on board in relation to the new school and have publicly welcomed it. However, their concerns in relation to increased traffic through the estate are both real and genuine. These concerns must be addressed positively by the management of the City VEC and the city council planners.”