Fianna Fáil’s MEP candidate for Midlands North West, Thomas Byrne, has said he fully supports a campaign by parents to have a new Gaelcholáiste established in North Kildare and recognised by the Department of Education and Science.
At a meeting with representatives of Coiste Gaeilcholáiste North Kildare, Senator Byrne pledged to make representations to the Minister for Education, Ruairi Quinn in support of the parents’ demand. Research by the parents’ group shows that there is a high level of demand for a new second level college teaching entirely through Irish and that it would draw pupils from Maynooth, Kilcock and Leixlip in county Kildare, from Edenderry in county Offaly, Dunboyne in county Meath and Lucan in county Dublin.
Senator Byrne said, “As we move towards greater integration with the European Union, for economic reasons, we must insist that this is done on the basis of each Member State cherishing and developing its own unique cultural identity. Irish is central to our heritage. Beyond that, immersion education through Irish confers significant educational advantages on children as well as enhanced skills in the area of learning further languages – something that we Irish need to become much better at in a closer European Union.”