Monday 24 October 2016

New school will be part of €14m All Hallows deal

Published 09/04/2016 | 02:30

A new school will be built on the All Hallows College grounds Photo: Damien Eagers
A new school will be built on the All Hallows College grounds Photo: Damien Eagers

A major new primary school is to be built in the grounds of the historic All Hallows College as part of the €14m deal to sell it to Dublin City University.

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The university finalised the sale yesterday after it was initially agreed in principle last June. It followed a lengthy approval process, which had to be signed off by the Vatican.

Details of the new primary school, which is expected to cater for around 450 pupils, had not been previously announced.

The Department of Education has been seeking expressions of interest in building a new school for the Drumcondra/Marino area, but the site was unclear.

The deal with DCU guarantees that the 174-year-old college will continue to be used for educational purposes and that existing All Hallows students will be able to finish their courses.

The cash-strapped college, which stands on a 6.74 hectare site, was put up for sale in 2014 as management believed it needed a major cash injection to stay open.

It became embroiled in controversy after seeking to raise funds through the sale of letters written by the late US First Lady Jackie Kennedy to an Irish priest, Fr Joseph Leonard, who lived in the college.

It planned to sell 33 letters for up to €3m, but the sale was abandoned after the Vincentian Fathers asserted ownership over the letters.

A number of parties offered over €20m for the site, but trustees chose a lower bid from DCU, as it would continue the institution's educational ethos.

It is understood the bid consisted a €10m in cash and around €4m to cover the costs of winding down All Hallows, including redundancy payments and the cost of teaching out existing courses.

The president of the college, Dr Patrick McDevitt, said: "This sale will secure, as part of the legacy, the educational mission of the campus and facilitate existing students in the completion of their studies."

Irish Independent

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