Applications are still being accepted for the new Gaelscoil in Kildare town, which will be opening its doors at the former Vocational school in September, writes Niamh O’Donoghue.
So far, there are 15 pupils enrolled and preparations are well underway with new principal Norma Ní Chonchúir in charge. Caoimhín Ó Heaghra, a representative for an Foras Pátrúnachta, the patron of many of Ireland’s gaelscoils, said the turnaround for setting up the new school has been very quick.
“We are delighted with the response. There is no doubt there is a definite demand there,” he said.
He explained how the Minister had only announced the development of the new Gaelscoil after Christmas. There was a public meeting held in January and so far things have been progressing smoothly. Agreement in principal has been reached between the Departments of Defence and Education for the establishment of an education campus at Magee Barracks. Once this is built, both the Kildare Educate Together School and the new Gaelscoil will relocate there.
New principal, Norma Ní Chonchúir is originally from Kerry. She was appointed two weeks ago and is looking forward to taking up her new position.
“I moved to Kildare eight years ago when I got my first job and have been teaching in Gaelscoil Chill Dara since. It has been a brilliant eight years in a school which provides a very high standard of education,” she explained.
“I decided to be a teacher because I love working with children and I myself had a very positive experience at school. I had excellent teachers who gave me great encouragement. I also have a great love for the Irish language.
“It is a great opportunity and great honour for me to be the principal of the new Gaelscoil in Kildare town. I am really looking forward to taking up this position. There is a great demand for education through Irish in the area and it is brilliant that this new school is opening to cater for that demand.
“The new Gaelscoil will be an multidenominational school. An excellent standard of education will be provided in an environment that is positive, enjoyable and open. My aim is to nurture a respectful atmosphere, a place where children are encouraged and confident, a place where they will learn the life skills they will need as citizens of this country.”
The Gaelscoil is being set up on foot of patronage changes and demand for more choice for parents sending their children to primary school.