Clon Gaelscoil gets green light
Staff and parents in Gaelscoil Chloch na gCoillte in Clonakilty were celebrating last night after an 18 year wait for their own purpose built school.
An Bord Pleanála granted permission late on Wednesday evening for immediate construction on the building which has been lobbied for since 1994.
The Gaelscoil started with 20 pupils and Carmel Nic Airt, as the sole teacher, nearly 20 years ago and has been housed in various rented buildings around Clonakilty. It has expanded over the years and now has almost 250 pupils on the roll and over 20 staff.
“This is a great and historic day for the pupils, parents and staff of An Gaelscoil,” said Príomhoide Carmel Nic Airt, principal since 1994.
“At last, we can proceed with the building of a proper purpose build school building that will be suitable for the needs of the children and staff with all the facilities that they should have had years ago as a right.”
Ms Nic Airt paid tribute to the families and staff who supported the school over the years, in conditions she described as less than ideal.
“Collectively, we have over the last 18 years provided top class primary school, eduction through the medium of the Irish language to boys and girls from the Clonakilty area,” said Ms Nic Airt.
“It is ironic today that there are young students enrolled in our school whose parents were here in the early years. We also have one teacher on our staff who attended here as a pupil. That gives you an idea of how long we have waited for this day, and also the loyalty and support we have always had from the community.”
Ms Nic Airt revealed she had been wary of previous announcement due to promises made by politicians, frequently at election time, but insisted last night’s announcement was the “real deal”.
Building is due to commence at the sit of the new Gaelscoil on Fernhill Road which has been sitting idle for the past seven years.
The announcement was warmly welcomed by Clonakilty Mayor Cionnaith Ó Suilleabháin, who is also the school secretary at the Gaelscoil.
“There will be a widespread ‘Céad Míle Fáilte’ for today's news that after 18 years and several moves in various rented properties around Clonakilty, the Gaelscoil, has at last been granted planning permission to build a proper, purpose built school building,” said Mayor Ó Suilleabháin.
Clonakilty Town Council had agreed planning permission a number of months ago, but that was appealed to An Bord Pleanala.