Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - County Dublin Education Facilities.

5.

Mr. R. Burke

asked the Minister for Education the plans his Department has for post-primary education in north County Dublin.

New schools have been sanctioned for Ballymun, The Donahies, Blakestown and Mountview, Swords, Portmarnock and Skerries. Schools for which major extensions have been approved are Belcamp College, Mercy Convent, Rush, Loreto Convent, Balbriggan and the vocational school, Balbriggan. Sites have been reserved for six further schools in the Blanchardstown area. Sites are also being reserved for a school in Skerries and a school in Balbriggan. Sites are being sought in the Ayrfield/ Grange area, Priorswood/Darndale, Swords and Lusk.

Mr. R. Burke

Would the Parliamentary Secretary say if the site in Swords will be for a convent school?

A vocational school with 800 places is approved and this will replace a number of places in the present school in Swords. Planning is at an advanced stage. A further site is to be reserved for a new school to cater for approximately 700 pupils. As the Deputy will remember, the Minister in reply to a question, indicated that it will be a matter for a religious order which might be interested in the management of such a school in Swords to come forward with proposals for involvement there. The Minister also indicated that he would be prepared to do everything possible to facilitate any religious order which might make a proposal in connection with a school in Swords.

Mr. R. Burke

The Parliamentary Secretary is aware that nuns run the school in Rush, but is he aware that the nuns have written to the parents of prospective pupils in the north county notifying them that there will be no accommodation for children other than those in the immediate catchment area? Children in Swords are being refused entrance. I understand from the Parliamentary Secretary that there are some proposals for extending that school. When will this extension be ready and when will there be an improvement in the situation?

The provision of an extension at Rush to cater for 500 pupil places has been approved in principle. I cannot say at this stage when the extension will be provided but I will make inquires and let the Deputy know.

The Parliamentary Secretary mentioned Grange. Is that Grange, County Dublin?

Mr. R. Burke

The Ayrfield/Grange area in north County Dublin. The Parliamentary Secretary mentioned a school being provided in Skerries. The Parliamentary Secretary must be aware of the long delay that has taken place in that area and he must also be aware of the concern felt by the parents in that area. Would he like to comment on that?

A new secondary school with 800 places is planned to replace three existing schools. The local authorities have just submitted a revised outline sketch scheme for a new secondary school at Skerries.

Mr. R. Burke

With regard to Portmarnock, when does the Parliamentary Secretary expect the post-primary community school will be ready there?

New schools have been sanctioned for Ballymun, The Donahies, Blakestown and Mountview, Swords, Portmarnock and Skerries. A site is being acquired for an 800 pupil community school and it is scheduled for 1979.

Mr. R. Burke

What is the position in regard to Ballymun?

A 600 pupil senior comprehensive school is nearing completion in Ballymun and will open in September, 1977.