A GREEN Party candidate in the upcoming general election has called for another school to be built in the East Cork region.
Councillor Liam Quaide has said it’s urgently needed to address a shortage of school places in the region, which is causing families “significant stress and uncertainty”.
He received support from other councillors in the Midleton/ Youghal Municipal District earlier in the month to write collectively to the Department of Education about this issue.
Mr Quaide has asked the Department to assess the need for a secondary school, and to “quickly initiate a patronage competition” when this need is confirmed.
Green Party deputy leader Catherine Martin recently submitted a parliamentary question on Mr Quaide’s behalf which showed that no such formal assessment had taken place, despite growing concern about secondary school places.
“There is only a commitment by the Department of Education to an ongoing, ad hoc review. This is not good enough,” Mr Quaide said.
“Many families are anxious about whether secondary school places are going to become available in their locality and about possibly facing long commutes to school and all the disruption that can bring.”
According to Mr Quaide, in 2013 the Department of Education had identified the need for an additional secondary school in the East Cork region, but no site was specified at that time.
Carrigtwohill, one of the fastest-growing towns in the region, also has long-standing issues relating to school places.
“Parents are forced to send their kids to schools elsewhere in East Cork or to the city, when they’d much more likely prefer to have them attend a local school,” Mr Quaide said.
“The people of Carrigtwohill are well aware of this, they’ve been waiting years for the three-school campus that’s been promised.”
“Creating a new secondary school for East Cork and giving families choice will be a priority of my work as a TD, if elected to serve the people of Cork East.”