Thursday 8 December 2016

Well-known south Dublin school to close doors

Published 19/10/2016 | 18:06

Notre Dame school in Churchtown
Notre Dame school in Churchtown

A well-known south Dublin girls’ school is to close.

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The fee-paying Notre Dame Des Missions on Churchtown will close its primary school in next June  while its secondary school will remain open until June 2019,  to allow existing senior and junior cycle students to complete their programme.

The school trust has told parents that  insufficient income to repay loans/mortgage,  increasing operating costs and the need for significant investment in the infrastructure are the reasons for the decision

Notre Dame, which was founded in 1953 by a French order of nuns, came close to closure about a decade ago,  but a strong campaign by the school community led to a change of heart by the nuns.

It led to the establishment of The Notre Dame School Trust Ltd. in 2005, amid hopes of a more certain future,  but,  last year, second level enrolments  had slipped  to about 150.    Fees at the school were about  €4,300.

Dublin Rathdown-based Senator for Fine Gael, Neale Richmond has expressed disappointment at the news.

"I am truly saddened and disappointed to hear that this very famous school is to close its doors, after over 60 years serving the people of South County Dublin from its prime Churchtown location.

"Notre Dame’s primary and secondary schools are very well known locally and the school itself was an integral part of the community. Accordingly the decision taken by the charitable trust that operates the school to close will be a shock and a disappointment to many in the area.

"The primary school is to close in June 2017 but I am heartened to learn from the Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton, that the secondary school will remain open until June 2019 to allow for Leaving Certificate and Junior Certificate students to complete to finish off their examination cycle.

"The majority of parents, teachers, staff and pupils have only learned of the imminent closure this afternoon and I am sure this news will be a very bitter pill to swallow.

"First opened by the Notre Dame des Missions sisters in 1953, the school was an iconic institution for many more than the 230 girls currently enrolled. Indeed when the sisters decided to withdraw from education in 2003, a great campaign was launched by the school community to keep it open. Notre Dame had a very positive impact on the local area and will be remembered fondly."

It is understood that Department of Education has acquired the campus and will  use it for school purposes in the future.

 

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