Friday, 6 September 2019

Questions (417)

Seán Haughey


417. Deputy Seán Haughey asked the Minister for Education and Skills if sufficient Gaelscoileanna will be established in the north County Dublin area to meet the demand; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36102/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Education)

As part of the 20 Year Strategy for the Irish Language 2010-2030, my Department has committed to creating opportunities for expanding Irish-medium education outside the Gaeltacht in the context of the establishment of 42 new schools from 2019 to 2022, which will afford particular consideration to the establishment of Gaelscoileanna, Gaelcholáistí, and Aonaid Lán-Ghaeilge as part of the new patronage process.

I recently announced that five new primary schools being established from 2020-2022 are being designated for Irish-medium education. The five new schools will serve areas of growing populations where there is no existing Irish-medium primary school or where there is more than one new school to be established between 2019 and 2022. Included in these schools are the new primary schools to be established in Donabate in 2020 and in the Donaghmede-Howth-D13 school planning area in 2021.

The Deputy may also be interested to note that my Department has developed a new Online Patronage Process System, which provides objective information and allows parents to express their preferences in relation to the patronage and language of instruction, i.e. Irish or English, for new schools. As the Deputy may be aware, this has resulted in patronage of three of the 13 primary schools to be established in 2019 being awarded to An Foras Pátrúnachta as gaelscoileanna, including the school in Drumcondra-Marino-D1 school planning area. The patronage process for the remainder of the primary schools from 2020 to 2022 will be carried out in due course and may result in additional gaelscoileanna.

The requirement for new schools will be kept under on-going review and in particular will have regard to the impact of the increased roll out of housing provision as outlined in Project Ireland 2040.  My Department will also continue to monitor areas where the accommodation of existing schools, including gaelscoileanna, may need to be expanded in order to meet the needs of the local population.

Details of schools that provide education through the medium of Irish are available on my Department's website