Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Education Charlie McConalogue has urged the Government not to abandon the only second level Gaelscoil in Inishowen, Coláiste Chineál Eoghain.
The Donegal Deputy has expressed his disappointment at reports that the Education Minister Ruairí Quinn is considering closing the school. He has pledged his full support for the VEC’s appeal to the Department seeking to keep the school open and support its development into the future.
“To close the only secondary Gaelscoil in Inishowen would be a big mistake, and it would send out completely the wrong message about how much we value our national language,” said Deputy McConalogue.
“Minister Quinn must make every effort to ensure that second level education through Irish continues to be available to students in Inishowen. Great effort and resources have gone into developing a Gaelscoil option at second level in Inishowen, and removing this option would be a retrograde step.
“Coláiste Chineál Eoghain was opened six years ago. Although it has been challenging achieving the projected enrolment figures, this school has been an important addition to the community. Rather than abandon it, the Minister should instead ensure that it gets the support it needs to develop and maintain a high standard of education.
“I have contacted Minister Quinn asking his department to engage meaningfully with parents, teachers and the school’s board of management to plan how to best support the school. I am also asking him to seriously consider the VEC appeal to give the school more time to develop. Every effort must be made to protect the use of our national language within the school system and ensure that an education through Irish remains an available option for students in Inishowen.”