*Photograph: Joe Buckley

WITH SHANNON school as maximum capacity, there is a need for a new secondary school in Sixmilebridge, a Clare TD has said.

By Jack O’Halloran

Limitations to second level places to secondary schools in Ennis and Shannon has left sixth class students “devastated” every year when trying to enrol, Deputy Cathal Crowe (FF) stated.

Crowe a former primary school teacher in Parteen NS commented, “Most young people in South-East Clare have two options they either go to school in Limerick City or they enrol in one of the two schools in Shannon, there are limitations to both options just because in Shannon in recent years both of the schools have been maxed out in terms of their enrolment every September leaving many children without a place in those schools”.

Putting forward the case on why a new secondary school in Clare should be situated in Sixmilebridge, Crowe explained, “It’s the largest growing population base in the county with a huge amount of young people and its centrally positioned between Ennis, Limerick and Shannon so that it could offer education to teenagers from a broad sweeping community”.

On the costs of such a project, Deputy Crowe estimated a new secondary school in The Bridge would leave a bill in excess of €10m which would be funded by the Department of Education. Subject specific rooms for woodwork, technical drawing, science and home economics are part of the reason for the cost, he said. “I think cost shouldn’t be a barrier here, anecdotally I don’t believe we have enough space in the existing secondary schools to meet that need and therefore that’s why I’m pushing for a new school in the Sixmilebridge area”.

Significant traffic issues at peak rush hour times are a common source of complaint in The Bridge. Additional traffic measures would need to be created and implemented were a school to be built, the Clare TD maintained. “Sixmilebridge in the mornings and afternoons can be a disaster in terms of traffic”.

Provision of a new school will take some time, Deputy Crowe has raised the matter with the Minister for Education, Norma Foley (FF) and at the Oireachtas Education Committee.

He concluded, “From what I’ve seen in my four years as a Government TD is that if there’s a good idea and there’s community demand for it. Funding can often be found where people didn’t think it was possible”.

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If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

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