Clonkeen College students protesting outside Leinster House today
Clonkeen College students protesting outside Leinster House today

Hundreds of students, parents and teachers of Clonkeen College hoping to save their school’s sports pitches took their battle to Leinster House this afternoon.

The protest outside the Dail was in a bid to stop their playing fields being sold to a private property developer.

The schools patron, The Edmund Rice Schools Trust, sparked controversy last year when it came out that it decided to sell 7.5 acres of pitches at the Deansgrange school for a price tag reported to be around €18 million.

Protesters today are calling on the Education Minister Richard Bruton to intervene.

People Before Profit TD Richard Boyd Barrett was at this afternoon’s demonstration and told Dublin Gazette the attempt to sell the pitches is “outrageous”

He said: “I’m here to support the students, parents and teachers of Clonkeen College who are fighting against what is an absolute outrageous attempt by the Christian Brothers to sell their playing pitches and sports pitches to a private property developer, which will massively degrade the schools abilities to do physical education.

“It will have a really damaging impact on their special needs unit which has been recently developed.”

He called on Minister for Education Richard Bruton to “get off the fence” and support the school and also to “reject the attempt by the Christian Brothers to dissolve the board.”

For more, pick up a copy of next Thursday’s Dublin Gazette.