Joy as permanent school building for Gaelscoil Chnoc Liamhna gets go-ahead

by Mark O'Brien
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Minister Katherine Zappone with parents of pupils at Gaelscoil Chnoc Liamhna

Parents of pupils at a Knocklyon school say they are delighted that the school is to finally get a permanent building after 20 years of waiting.

Pupils at Gaelscoil Chnoc Liamhna have been attending school in prefab buildings since the school opened.

Parents and staff have long campaigned for a permanent building for the school.

But a legal issue relating to part of the proposed site has stalled progress up until now.

On Friday, Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Katherine Zappone said that she has received confirmation from the Department of Education that the final legal obstacles to securing the site have been cleared and the purchase complete.

Chairperson of the Scoil Nua Chnoc Liamhna Committee, Trish McGinley told Dublin Gazette that parents were delighted to hear the news.

She said: “It’s just great to see that it actually still is moving forward.

“We’d be nervous and it’ll take time for us to believe everything that we get told but at least we are getting updates now and when you see things like that you know things are happening in the background.

“Once all of that paperwork and the bureaucracy is done, it means it can move along as it should move along.”

Parents and pupils staged a protest outside the Dail in October as part of their long-running campaign.

Minister Zappone said Friday’s announcement was a tribute to the hard work and dedication of local parents, teaching staff and management.

She said: “After over two decades, we have taken another step forward to ensure that Gaelscoil Knocklyon will have a permanent building.

“I have been in close contact with my colleague the Minister for Education, Richard Bruton, to bring us to this point.

“It is important that momentum is maintained so that the children studying in Knocklyon will have safe, comfortable and secure classrooms and other facilities.

“The new school will be built under the Department of Education ‘Design and Build’ approach, which should ensure that the project continues to advance.

“This campaign has been a long-running one, but those involved have never lost hope and remained focused throughout on securing their goal.”

Once planning has been approved, it is expected that the new school will be built within two years.

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