Fianna Fáil Seanad Group Leader and Dublin South Central General Election candidate, Senator Catherine Ardagh has said young people in Dublin 8 and Dublin 12 have been disregarded by being denied access to the new Educate Together Secondary School which is due to be built on the former Harold’s Cross stadium site.

Speaking ahead of this evening’s public meeting in Griffith Barracks Educate Together, Crumlin based Senator said, “In May of last year I first made contact with the then Minister for Education regarding the decision to exclude families living in Dublin 8 and Dublin 12 from the catchment area of the new Educate Together to be opened in Harold’s Cross.

“The South Inner City is in need of increased school diversity. The real concern among parents is that there are six primary schools in our area that do not have a continuity of ethos at secondary level.

“Patrons such as Educate Together provide a greater choice of ethos options for parents making them hugely popular and places in one of their schools are highly sought after. Non-denominational secondary school places are in too short of supply in the South Inner City and demand is only rising.

“It shouldn’t be the case that access to a co-educational, multi-denominational, non-fee paying secondary level school is based on postcode. The young people in our locality deserve the same choice of education provided elsewhere and should have the very same access.

“The Government needs to step up to fulfil its commitment to pave way for more diversity in the education system. Parents took this as a promise. Communities in D8 and D12 are close to this Harold’s Cross site so residents cannot be forced to accept that their children are excluded from the catchment area.

“I will be raising this urgent matter in Seanad Éireann next Tuesday and have sought to discuss this directly with the Minister at the nearest possible opportunity,” she concluded.