I welcome the opportunity to raise this issue and thank the Minister of State, Deputy Haughey, for taking it. This matter relates to the provision of secondary school placements in the Knocklyon-Rathfarnham area. The main secondary school in the area, St. Colmcille's community school — there are two additional secondary schools, one for boys and one for young women — is limited in that it can only accommodate 120 new first-year pupils per year. One of the feeder schools to the secondary school is St. Colmcille's senior national school, from which 165 pupils graduate each year. In addition, some 30 students each graduate from the nearby gaelscoil and from St. Patrick's Church of Ireland school. There are also a number of other national schools in the area.
As the numbers indicate, there are not sufficient places at second level to accommodate all the pupils graduating from local schools. Another issue that arises within the Knocklyon-Rathfarnham area is that the St. Patrick's Church of Ireland school is not a feeder school for any of the secondary schools. Coláiste Éanna CBS, Ballyroan, is a boys' school and even though it is located adjacent to St. Patrick's, it is not recognised as a feeder school it. This creates its own issues for the area.
There is a significant demand in the Knocklyon-Rathfarnham area for second level schools. A number of young people are obliged to take one or perhaps two buses in order to attend schools elsewhere because there are no others within the immediate geographic area which can accommodate them. Some of them are obliged to travel as far as the city centre to attend school. Others must travel to the city centre and then catch a second bus to get to the schools they attend in suburbs which are not serviced by direct bus routes from the Knocklyon-Rathfarnham area. I would appreciate it if the Minister of State could provide an indication of the steps that could be taken to alleviate the difficulties.