Students and staff of Gaelscoil de hÍde in Fermoy have closed the doors of their old building and entered their new school today.
The new school was sanctioned almost six years ago, when the Department of Education accepted that the school was not suitable for the number of children attending.
The Gaelscoil de hÍde New School Action Group said: “Some storage rooms and play areas had to be converted into classrooms. Children were not allowed run in the playground for fear of injury, toilet facilities were totally inadequate and our 410 children were cramped into a school built to cater for roughly half that amount.
Parents of children in the school formed the New School Action Group in June 2014 after “an unwieldy, vague and error-strewn process”.
In January 2016 planning permission was granted for the new 24-classroom complex on the Duntahane road in Fermoy.
Students were today accompanied by the local Fermoy Concert Band as they walked from their old school to their new building.
“It’s hard to believe that we’ve come this far. When we started our campaign the new Gaelscoil Project in Fermoy had all but stagnated. There were lots of empty promises and misleading headlines from politicians, and so many unanswered questions,” says Vivienne Dempsey, Chairperson of the New School Action Group.
Sean Mac Gearailt, Principal at Gaelscoil de hÍde, couldn’t wait to show the children their new school: “We always said that we wouldn’t believe the school would be ours until we turned the key in the door. Our hopes had been dashed too many times. Well now we have the keys and we’re delighted.”