MINISTER ANNOUNCES APPROVAL OF DUNDALK GAELCHOLÁISTE

Dundalk will initially be a satellite of Coláiste Ghlór na Mara, Balbriggan

Co. Louth parents fighting for Irish medium education for their children celebrated the Ministers announcement today that she had sanctioned an Irish-medium satellite of Coláiste Ghlór na Mara, (Balbriggan) in Dundalk.

Expected for the last number of months, the Ministerial approval is an important milestone and enables Co. Louth children to have their post-primary education through Irish. It also means that Co. Louth is no longer one of the few counties without any post-primary Irish medium education facilities.

The school patron, An Foras Pátrúnachta (AFP) have said that they will be working intensively with the school Principal to arrange how to best meet and communicate with Co. Louth parents and prospective pupils over the coming weeks.

AFP have agreed with Muirhevnamor Community Centre, subject to Dept. approval, to use the Centre facilities as a school on a temporary basis. Once approved, it will enable them to source permanent facilities in the Dundalk area.

The Minister also identifies that the new Dundalk Gaelcholáiste approved is a pilot project of a new satellite model developed by AFP. This model has the potential to transform how start up Gaelcholáistí are provided across Ireland where there is an unmet demand for Irish medium education. Currently 9 of the 26 counties have no Irish medium post primary education facilities at all.
The Minister for Education Norma Foley TD said she hoped that the pilot scheme would assist in developments of similar projects down the line.

“The provision of Irish-medium education is a priority for my Department and this Government, and we share a strong commitment to increasing the number of Irish-medium places available.

“I am delighted to be able to confirm approval for this model on a pilot basis. This pilot offers parents in Dundalk a new choice for Irish-medium provision, in addition to existing provision provided by schools in the area. The learning from the pilot may assist in the potential development of an enduring policy/approach for the application of this model elsewhere, subject to successful review. I wish An Foras Pátrúnachta and Coláiste Ghlór na Mara the very best with this pilot initiative and I look forward to hearing how the initiative develops.”

A public meeting will be held regarding Dundalk Gaelcholáiste tomorrow evening between 7pm and 8pm. on Zoom. An Foras Pátrúnachta (AFP) and the Principal of Coláiste Ghlór na Mara, Maedhbh Daltún, have arranged a public meeting on zoom for parents and children potentially interested in Irish medium education to present the school and answer questions.
The meeting is to held on Zoom on Thursday 25th March 7.00p.m – 8.00p.m The Zoom link for those interested in attending is Join Zoom Meeting https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83910241309 Meeting ID: 839 1024 1309 Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/keb51sbh3v– Topic: An Foras Pátrúnachta: Oíche Eolais – Coláiste Ghlór na Mara – Dún Dealgan Time: Mar 25, 2021 07:00 PM Dublin

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