New Dundalk Irish language secondary school inviting parents to show “Expressions of Interest” ahead of it's official opening in September

Patrick Flaherty

Reporter:

Patrick Flaherty

Email:

Patrick.flaherty@iconicnews.ie

Muirhevnamore Community Centre

Muirhevnamore Community Centre will be used to house the school on a temporary basis

The Principal of Dundalk’s new Irish Language secondary school, Coláiste Ghlór Na Mara- Dún Dealgan has invited interested parents to email their “Expressions of Interest” ahead of the schools official opening to students in September.

Although the approval for the school came very late in the school year, long after children formally registered their names with schools of their choice for next year, all parties are now working against the clock in order to open the gaelcholáiste for the 2021/22 academic year.

The Department of Education require all Principals to submit projected pupil numbers for the coming school year by Fri 2nd April. They use these numbers to set teacher allocations and budgets.

Due to this deadline the Principal, Maedhbh Daltún, is asking all parents with children in 5th and 6th Class who are potentially interested to email her details of the child’s name and class so that she can determine the level of interest for her annual projected report to the department.

She emphasised that this is an expression of Interest only. It does not affect the child’s existing registration with an English medium post-primary school. It is the first step to a formal registration process.

Coláiste Ghlór na Mara offers a full range of curriculum subjects in all years up to Leaving Cert, all through Irish. From September 2021 it will have over 450 pupils, having started with 27 in 2014 and is currently over-subscribed at its Balbriggan campus in Dublin.

An Foras Pátrunachta (AFP) is a designated school patron and is the only patron dedicated to providing Irish medium education. It currently operates and manages 71 schools nationwide.

A virtual meeting to discuss the school with prospective parents was well attended last week, with the principal and Caoimhín Ó hEaghra of AFP giving parents information on what the school will be like.

Despite being a satellite school there will be a Deputy Principal plus a cohort of teachers permanently based in Dundalk, providing direct teaching to children as far as it is possible while where needed teachers will also travel from Balbriggan to Dundalk to give classes.

For subjects that require special rooms, such as science the children will be transported to Balbriggan for these subjects during the school day, one or possibly two days a week.

The campus will be based out of Muirhevnamore Community Centre but will have to comply with the rigorous Department standards, while the local high quality sports facilities are expected to be available to the school.

As a first step towards formal registration, Principal Daltún needs to determine potential interest levels for 2021 and 2022. She must provide projected pupil numbers to the Department by Fri 2nd April as part of the annual process for setting staff budget requirements for the next school year.

Those wishing to express their interest in enrolling in the school in 2021 or 2022 are asked to contact her at priomhoide@cgnm.ie, outlining the child’s name and class by Thursday the 1st April.