THE Department of Education has announced that Ballincollig will get a second gaelscoil to cope with demand for school places in the growing satellite town.
Minister for Education Richard Bruton confirmed that the patronage for the school has been awarded to An Foras Pátrúnachta - a non-religious Irish language body - following a competition that also included Educate Together and the Cork Education & Training Board.
Demand from parents for a gaelscoil was a determining factor in the final selection.
A report on the matter found: "The demand for the An Foras Pátrúnachta school model is significant. The establishment of an An Foras Pátrúnachta primary school would extend diversity in the area by providing multi-denominational, co-education."
It will be the second gaelscoil for the town - Gaelscoil Uí Ríordán moved to a new school building in recent years.
Foras Pátrúnachta said the school will open on September 1 and have begun accepting enrolment applications. The said they are currently working to recruit the principal and finalise the school accommodation.
Caoimhín Ó hEaghra, General Secretary of An Foras Pátrúnachta said: “We welcome today’s announcement by the Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton which reflects the growing demand for Irish-medium education in Ireland and will provide a diversity of choice for parents in Ballincollig.
"We meet families around the country every day who are telling us that they want to provide their children with the benefits that Gaelscoileanna provide."
“An Foras Pátrúnachta’s aim is to provide an excellent education through the Irish language to every child in Ireland who wants it, regardless of faith or geographical location."
Minister Bruton said: “We are committed to delivering on our Programme for Government commitment to reach 400 multi-denominational and non-denominational schools by 2030. In a changing Ireland, we believe that families around the country should be offered greater choice in the education system.
“The establishment of these new schools will ensure that sufficient school places are in place to cater for the growing cohort of pupils at primary level over the coming years. Additional places will also continue to be provided by extending existing provision as part of the capital investment programme for schools”.
“Parental preference has become a key determinant in deciding the patronage of new schools and I’m pleased to say that the views of parents as expressed through the process are strongly reflected in the decisions I have made on the patronage of these four new schools.”