O’Sullivan welcomes confirmation of a new special school in Carrigaline and expansion of existing special school

Published on: 16 April 2021

Fianna Fáil TD for Cork North Central, Pádraig O’Sullivan has welcomed confirmation that a new special school will be established in Carrigaline.

Deputy O’ Sullivan commented, “I am delighted to receive confirmation this morning from the Department of Education that a new special school will be established. The new provision will see the establishment of a new special school in Carrigaline which will have the capacity to provide 48 school places. It will provide for the needs of children with autism and general learning disability up to eighteen years of age. The provision will also provide for a change to the designation of St. Mary’s Special School, Rochestown to cater for children with a dual diagnosis of learning disability and autism with 12 new school places becoming available for September 2021. 

The Cork TD continued, “It has been well documented in recent months that 23 families found themselves with no school place for September for their children with special needs, and this was unacceptable.

“I want to thank all the Ministers and officials in the Department of Education for their work in getting this project delivered. I want to acknowledge the role that An Taoiseach, Micheál Martin, has played in getting this project over the line.”

Deputy O’Sullivan added: “I am glad that all stakeholders have worked together to resolve the situation. It is now imperative that work proceeds with refurbishing the new building, hiring the appropriate staff and ensuring that these children get the education they deserve. No child or parent should have to fight for their right to an education. It is a fundamental constitutional right for all. We should not have to be reminded of that.

“The health and education system we have needs to be responsive to the needs of all our students. Last year when I was appointed spokesperson for special education this was a priority for me, and I am glad to see that this has come to a successful conclusion for the families concerned.”

Deputy O’Sullivan concluded: “I would like to acknowledge the hard work and persistence of these families throughout this campaign. I have engaged extensively with them in recent months and I know the anxiety and upset that the uncertainty has caused. Today’s announcement is a great day for them and sees their efforts rewarded.”