Kildare campaigners report unprecedented interest in new multi-denominational Leixlip and Maynooth Gaelscoileanna

Seeking patronage

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Kildare campaigners report unprecedented interest in new multi-denominational Leixlip and Maynooth Gaelscoileanna

Maynooth, with thanks to Google Earth

There has been huge interest in the establishment of two new proposed multi-denominational gaelscoileanna in the
north of the county, according to An Foras Pátrúnachta (AFP).

Following the announcement of the Department of Education of the two new schools, and the launch of the online patronage process, the largest National Patron of Gaelscoileanna reported "unprecedented level of interest at its public meetings and on its online campaign forums."

The organisation said that with Maynooth and Leixlip showing the second and third highest level of Irish spoken daily according to the 2016 Census, the timing of the patronage process is a "particularly suitable opportunity to add to the seven primary gaelscoileanna and the second level Gaelcholáiste Chill Dara already in existence in Kildare with a further Gaelcholáiste to open in Maynooth in 2019."

The application for patronage has been made as part of AFP’s Gaelscoil4All campaign which aims to ensure all children in Ireland have the option to attend a gaelscoil.

General Secretary of An Foras Pátrúnachta, Caoimhín Ó hEaghra said: “We need more Gaelscoileanna to cater for demand from parents. Too often we hear from parents who want Irish-medium education for their child but don’t have that option available. There is only one gaelscoil in each area and unless we secure further supply parents will not be able to access Irish medium education.

"Kantar Millward Brown research published last month shows that 78% of people believe Irish medium education should be available to every child. We are now encouraging all parents with children up to the age of 5 to vote for a new multi-denominational Gaelscoil in their area at Gaelscoil4all.ie between now and the 15 of January. Parents know the benefits of bilingual - and multilingual education - and they can now help us achieve this great choice for their
children through our campaign.”

Mr Ó hEaghra added: “Providing diversity and choice to parents in Maynooth and Leixlip is essential. In our schools, everyone’s welcome and everyone’s equal. We welcome all pupils regardless of their background, religion or language of the home.”