'Public display of unity' to be held at Cork school against any potential amalgamation plans

'Public display of unity' to be held at Cork school against any potential amalgamation plans

A VIGIL will be held outside St Vincent's Secondary School on the northside of Cork city today as a “public display of unity” against any potential amalgamation with other schools in the area. Pic: Larry Cummins

A VIGIL will be held outside St Vincent's Secondary School on the northside of Cork city today as a “public display of unity” against any potential amalgamation with other schools in the area.

In April The Echo reported that the North Monastery, St Vincent’s, and the North Presentation schools are in talks to “explore together current and future Catholic educational provision in north Cork city”.

It is understood that these talks could explore if the three secondary schools should merge.

Save St Vincent's Secondary School, a newly formed group of parents and students who want the school to remain a single sex, all-girls school took to Facebook recently to highlight the vigil taking place this morning.

“Calling all parents and students of St Vincent's Secondary School past and present.

“Our school are holding a public display of unity this coming Wednesday 2nd June at 9am outside our school gates.

“We are standing together to show our desire to remain as a single sex all-girls school.

“Please bring your daughter in uniform and please wear masks. We hope you can make it,” the post stated.

Speaking to The Echo, Sinn Féin TD Thomas Gould who has held two Zoom meetings to listen to the concerns from parents on the potential amalgamation said the “vast majority” of both parents and students of St Vincent’s are against a merging of the schools.

“They really value the school and want to keep it as it is,” he said.

St Vincent’s also contains an ASD centre called The Lir Hub which supports students with autism who have a report from a Multi-Disciplinary Team recommending that a special class placement in a mainstream school is both necessary and suitable.

It was the first centre in Ireland to offer support in a single-sex girls only setting.

Mr Gould said every parent who spoke about the centre said it has been “life-changing” for their daughters and that they “do not want to lose this centre”.

He said that he has not personally heard opposition from parents or students of the North Monastery or the North Presentation schools on any potential amalgamation.

“From my point of view, I have no opposition to the amalgamation between the North Monastery and the North Pres, if that’s what the students and the parents want, but for St Vincent’s if they want to stay independent I think the students and the parents should have that right,” he said.

The vigil will be on for one hour outside St Vincent’s this morning.

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