Save the Tank Field campaigner says ‘reuse old school and save €5m’

Save the Tank Field campaigner says ‘reuse old school and save €5m’

A previous protest against the construction of a new school on the Tank Field. Photo Billy macGill

SOME €5 million of taxpayers’ money could be saved if a Mayfield primary school, set to be vacated this summer, were occupied by a nearby gaelscoil, a local campaigner has argued.

Scoil Naomh Eoin Aspal, located on the Old Youghal Road, will close its doors for good at the end of this school year, as the boys primary school amalgamates with nearby girls school Scoil Mhuire Banríon on Boherboy Road.

At its peak, Scoil Naomh Eoin Aspal housed approximately 800 pupils, but numbers have dwindled to just over 70 in recent years.

Meanwhile, Educate Together run Gaelscoil an Ghoirt Álainn have been long awaiting a new build, estimated to cost €5 million, which would give their growing population a permanent home. The proposed build has proven to be controversial locally, with opposition groups arguing that the site identified, known colloquially as the Tank Field, is the only at, green, public open space in the north east of the city.

Brendan Goggin, former Registrar of CIT, and a member of Montenotte Park Residents’ Association and Save the Tank Field campaign, has suggested that by simply moving Gaelscoil an Ghoirt Álainn into the soon-to-be vacant, purpose built school, vital money and space would be saved.

“The Department of Education has invested heavily in maintaining the school building which is in excellent condition,” he said.

“The building has been provided and maintained at taxpayers’ expense.

“It would be a total waste of taxpayers money to spend €5 million on a new building for the Gaelscoil at the Tank Field when a suitable, state owned, state funded, state-of-the-art, building is available in the immediate neighbourhood.” Mr Goggin added that the solution “could solve a very long-running public campaign to everyone’s satisfaction.” “Gaelscoil an Ghoirt Álainn, has been seeking that the Department of Education would build a new school for it on the Tank Field.

“There has been sustained, widespread and deeply felt opposition to the Department’s plans to do this with a public campaign that has been ongoing for over ten years.

“The imminent amalgamation of the two schools represents a fundamental change in the overall position.” “It would be a shocking waste to spend €5 million of taxpayers’ money on a new school building when a state-of-the-art large primary school building with extensive grounds will become available in the area in a few months time.

“The money saved could be readily used for any one of the many school building projects in Cork that await funding.”

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