Parent power secures new secondary school

by Mark O'Brien

Campaigners were celebrating on Friday after it was announced that a new 1,000 pupil post-primary school is to be built in the Saggart/Citywest area.

The area is currently served by four primary schools but with now secondary school in the area, pupils have to travel to Tallaght, Rathcoole and beyond.

The new school was announced as part of plans to build an additional 42 schools across the country over the next four years.

The school is expected to open in September 2020.

David Murphy, chairperson of the Citywest Educate Together Second Level Campaign Group couldn’t contain his joy at the news.

“I feel like we have won the lotto,” he said.

“I would like to thank the group of committed parents who drove this campaign over the last four years, each and every parent who filled in an expression of interest form, all the councillors who made sure provision for a second level school was included in the SDCC Local Authority Plans 2016-2022, all the TD’s from Dublin Mid-West (Gino Kenny, Eoin O’Broin, Frances Fitzgerald & John Curran) and Dublin South West (Katherine Zappone, Paul Murphy, Colm Brophy, Sean Crowe, John Lahartt), the staff and Principal (Caitriona Hand) of Citywest Educate Together National School, the national body of Educate Together and more than anyone, the children of Citywest Educate Together National School, who wrote letter after letter to Minister for Education, Richard Bruton, over the years and never gave up.”

Local representatives said they were also delighted by the news.

Deputy John Curran (FF), who recently raised the matter as a topical issue in the Dail, said: “Delighted to hear the news that a new 1,000 pupil post-primary school for Citywest/Saggart area in order to meet the demand for school places in the Saggart, Newcastle and Rathcoole area.

“This is due to open in 2020.

“Well done to parents who campaigned locally for this in Citywest and Saggart.

“I was honoured to be a part of raising this issue in the Dail over the last few weeks. Great work all round.”

Deputy Frances Fitzgerald added: “Census 2016 identified Saggart as the country’s fastest growing town, having experienced a population growth of 46.1% between 2011 and 2016.

“The town with the second largest percentage increase was Rathcoole, that saw their population rise 27.2% in the same period.

“However, this growth naturally puts pressure on our public services.

“Today’s decision is about preparing for the future and making sure our children get the best start in life through receiving the best education possible.”

The Government has also agreed to fund the building of two new eight-classroom primary schools.

One will be located in the Newcastle, Rathcoole, Saggart catchment area and is scheduled to open in 2020, while the other will be located in Clondalkin with a projected opening date of 2021.

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