OVER 400 children are on a waiting list for a school whose opening may be delayed by a wrangle over the building.
Plans to transfer an ex-Christian Brothers primary school in south Dublin city to a multi-denominational Educate Together have suffered a setback.
The Archbishop of Dublin Dr Diarmuid Martin has already agreed to the merger of the CBS boys' school with a local girls' Catholic primary, to free up the building for Educate Together.
The Edmund Rice Schools Trust (ERST), which runs the former Christian Brothers Schools, has said there may be legal obstacles to handing over the building in Basin Lane, James's Street, Dublin 8, which it owns.
The Department of Education, which has given the go- ahead for the new Educate Together school to open in September, is taken aback by the latest stumbling block.
The trust has raised a number of issues including that it may only sell off school buildings to "further the purpose of Catholic Education in the Edmund Rice Tradition".
Although there have been no detailed negotiations, the department is likely to expect the building to be handed over at little or no cost.
But, according to the ERST, that there are competing expressions of interest for the building, which it is considering.
"These include the Department of Education and Skills and also local community groups," ERST chief executive Gerry Bennett said.
The proposed transfer of patronage of the Basin Lane school is taking place amid wider moves to reduce the dominance of the Catholic Church in education to reflect changes in society. Now this controversy has raised concerns about whether other proposed handovers will hit similar obstacles.