Written Answers. - Gaelscoil Recognition.

Rory O'Hanlon

Ceist:

389 Dr. O'Hanlon asked the Minister for Education if her attention has been drawn to the difficulties created by her refusal to give recognition to Gaelscoil Eois in Clones, County Monaghan; the reason for her refusal; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [16276/96]

I am fully aware of the effort and commitment which parents and other interested parties put into the organisation and management of gaelscoileanna and I would be anxious to ensure that applications received in my Department for the recognition of such schools are considered as objectively as possible, subject to certain conditions being met.

The position with regard to Gaelscoil Eois is that the school's application for recognition in 1996 was refused as the promoters were unable to satisfy one of the main conditions as set down by my Department, that is that there should be an enrolment of at least 20 first-time school-goers who had not attended national school previously.
The successful development of a new school depends on a minimum level of parental demand, hence there is a requirement that such a school would have at least twenty new junior infants before recognition is granted. This is considered to be a basic requirement to ensure longer-term viability.
I would be happy to consider an application for recognition of Gaelscoil Eois for the 1997-98 school year, early in 1997.