*Photograph: John Mangan
Confirmation has been issued by the Minister for Education that the amalgamation of secondary schools in Ennistymon has been approved for tender.
Following completion of a review of the detailed design stage of planned works, the Department of Education has moved onto appointing a tender for constructing the new school in the North Clare town which is set to cater for 650 students. The detailed design state took approximately two years for the Department to complete.
Debate of a community school in Ennistymon stretches back to the 1980s and 1990s. There are currently three secondary schools there, the CBS, the Vocational School and Scoil Mhuire. Funding for a state of the art amalgamated building was first announced in the last decade. Senator Martin Conway (FG) had been a vocal advocate in the Seanad on the need for such a facility.
On Wednesday, Clare TD, Cathal Crowe (FF) met with Minister for Education Norma Foley (FF). He said that the amalgamation of the Ennistymon secondary schools has been “a political priority of mine” since his election to the Dáil in February. The Deputy referenced meetings with principals of the three schools plus Cllr Shane Talty (FF) and Cllr Joe Killeen (FF) as examples of his commitment to the project.
“Unfortunately, this amalgamation has seen too many false dawns and premature announcements but now, the finish line is firmly in sight and I hope this stage passes quickly and we see the shovel hit the ground sooner rather than later,” Deputy Crowe stated to The Clare Echo.