Sunday 26 March 2017

Multi-denominational Gaelscoil opens for pupils of 15 different nationalities

Pupil Seán Ó Fearnáin (14) at Coláiste Ghlór na Mara Photo: Leon Farrell / Photocall Ireland
Pupil Seán Ó Fearnáin (14) at Coláiste Ghlór na Mara Photo: Leon Farrell / Photocall Ireland
Katherine Donnelly

Katherine Donnelly

Ireland's latest all-Irish secondary school has opened in a state-of-the art building - with students of 15 different nationalities.

Coláiste Ghlór na Mara, on Naul Road, Balbriggan, north Co Dublin, currently has 130 pupils but will eventually accommodate 1,000.

The multi-denominational school, which opened in temporary premises in 2014, is catering for a burgeoning teenage population in north Dublin, Meath and south Louth. It brings to 69 the number of schools under the umbrella of An Foras Pátrúnachta, a patron body for Irish-medium schools.

Principal Aoife Elster said the school was open to all and that pupils did not need to have attended a Gaelscoil before enrolment.

"It is really encouraging that students with such diverse backgrounds and cultures have chosen to learn through Irish," she said.

Many of the pupils have attended a local all-Irish primary school, while others are travelling from Swords, Drogheda and Ashbourne, which An Foras Pátrúnachta says is down to a lack of other Irish-medium second-level schools in neighbouring counties.

This month, nine new post-primary schools are opening to cater for Ireland's teenage surge, while others, such as Coláiste Ghlór na Mara, are moving into permanent premises.

Irish Independent

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