Council is ‘actively working’ with Educate Together school to find alternative solution

By Mary Dennehy

THE Department of Education’s proposal that a new post-primary school in Firhouse moves 10km away to temporary accommodation in Citywest has been raised in council chambers.

As reported in The Echo in December, the Department has suggested moving Firhouse Educate Together Post Primary school to Citywest for 18 to 24 months while it awaits a new permanent building.

Educate Gael Scoil 13 compressor

Firhouse Educate Together and Gaelscoil na Giuise currently house Firhouse Educate Together Post Primary School

The construction of a 1,000-pupil secondary school is planned for the Firhouse, Ballycullen and Knocklyon area, under the patronage of Educate Together.

The secondary school, which has no permanent accommodation, is currently housed across two primary schools in the area – Firhouse Educate Together and Gaelscoil na Giuise.

A number of councillors placed the issue on the agenda of the recent area committee meeting of Rathfarnham, Templeogue, Firhouse and Bohernabreena – and asked if an alternative site within the local area could be located.

In its reply, council management said that it’s “actively working” with Firhouse Educate Together Post Primary School and several sections of the Department of Education and Skills (DES).

The council confirmed that the move suggested by the Department is for the duration of construction of the school’s permanent building in Ballycullen.

The council said: “The DES outline that the acquisition of lands for the permanent school is progressing.

“However, DES outline that the proposed site will not be of sufficient size to accommodate both the temporary accommodation and the construction of the permanent school building.

“In this context, the DES suggested to Firhouse Educate Together Post Primary School that temporary accommodation available in Citywest could be utilised by the school.”

The council said that it is working with the school and Department to “provide DES with an alternative option for temporary facilities from September 2020 in the Firhouse area”.

Speaking in the Dáil last month, Deputy John Lahart (Fianna Fail) said: “This is such a dramatic dislocation of a school that is just breathing its first air and taking its first steps in the community.

“To dislocate it and suggest it ought to be relocated to 10kms away will kill it… there’s no argument with it.”

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