Wednesday, 10 February 2021

Questions (392)

Fergus O'Dowd

Question:

392. Deputy Fergus O'Dowd asked the Minister for Education if she will address concerns raised in correspondence (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [6336/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Education)

The provision of Irish-medium education is a priority for my Department and this Government, and we share a strong commitment to increasing the number of Irish-medium places available.

My Department has had significant engagement with An Foras Pátrúnachta in relation to its proposal for a Gaelcholáiste under the patronage of An Foras Pátrúnachta to also have a campus in County Louth. It is important to note that this proposal relates to the provision of an additional campus of an existing school.

The engagement has included assessing various options in Dundalk. In order for the proposal and associated costs to be fully assessed, it will be necessary to finalise the location of the proposed campus and costs arising. An Foras Pátrúnachta recently proposed particular accommodation and the Department is engaging with An Foras Pátrúnachta in this regard. I wish to assure you that my Department is prioritising completion of its consideration of the proposal and will be in contact with An Foras Pátrúnachta when there is a further update in this regard.

It is important to note that while this proposal is being worked through, those students who have chosen to enrol in the Gaelcholáiste under the patronage of An Foras Pátrúnachta in Balbriggan will continue to be served by school transport (subject to Covid-related restrictions and school closures etc. as they apply nationally).