As the Deputy is aware the recommendation to amalgamate the schools in question has been accepted following detailed consideration of the proposal from Cavan Monaghan Education and Training Board, patron of both schools and the submissions received from the groups referred to by the Deputy.
The recommendation from the patron to amalgamate the existing schools into a new building, will now proceed and meetings with groups from either side of the debate would at this stage be of no benefit.
My Department does not involve itself in any negotiations or consultations as these are a matter for the school authorities to facilitate. The Patron advised that an invitation to consultation meetings was forwarded to the Boards of Management of both schools in question and to all representative groups identified in both communities. In total, eleven groups were identified and meetings arranged between February and July 2019. The Patron advised that the majority of the meetings proceeded and the majority views taken into consideration. A small number of meetings were cancelled by the group/association concerned and did not proceed.
The two schools due to amalgamate will continue to operate from the existing school sites until a new school building is provided. It is envisaged that the construction phase for the new amalgamated school will be facilitated with investment available during the second half of the National Development Plan (NDP) 2018 to 2027.
The new, amalgamated school will be built to the highest standards and will be compliant with Part L of the Building Regulations 2017. It will also provide the opportunity for the school to have a fully equipped PE Hall facility with fitness suite together with provision of accommodation to meet special education needs in West Cavan at Port-Primary level.