A MINI northside Gaeltacht could be created if a school that has more than tripled in size in recent years receives a permanent home at a new development site, according to a local councillor.
Councillor Thomas Gould is urging the Department of Education to fund the purchase of an education building at the site of former St Finbarr’s Seminary on Redemption Road and grounds for Gaelschoil Pheig Sayers.
The school was established in 1987 and was previously located in a GAA grounds and in rooms rented from a local secondary school before moving to a business park on the Mallow Road. Its current home is at the education campus at Farranferris but a permanent home has been sought for some time. Its student numbers have swelled to around 280.
Almost 80 homes are to be built on the St Finbarr’s Seminary site along with three educational buildings.
The site, owned by the Cork Diocesan Trustees was recently taken over by Citidwell Homes who have already begun work on the grounds.
Mr Gould now wants to see funding confirmed by the Department in order to secure the future of the school’s location and the promotion of the Irish language on the northside of the city by moving the school to one of the educational buildings.
“We’ve put in an application to the Department of Education to buy the land and put a brand new school there.
“There are a number of education buildings on the site and we are looking for one of them to go to Peig Sayers because the school has been like a nomad for 30 years. Originally it started in Na Piarsaigh GAA, then they were in the North Monastery and then the North Point Business Park before they moved to Farranferris.
“Those classes were built for another generation. We had 89 students only a few years ago but we are up to around 280 now. The school has tripled in size since we moved to Farranferris and it’s great for the Irish language. You have an area on the northside of the city and the Irish language is thriving there.
“The North Monastery next door is a secondary Gael Coláiste. There are great opportunities for children to become fluent in Irish on the northside now.
“Studies show the more languages you learn, the better you learn,” added Mr Gould.