Thursday 22 March 2018

Parents' fury at plan to sell Dublin school's land

Clonkeen College, Dublin
Clonkeen College, Dublin

Alan O'Keeffe

Parents are furious as the Christian Brothers are to sell off 7.5 acres of playing pitches at a Dublin secondary school to developers in order to help cover the cost of compensation for sexual abuse victims.

The board of management of Clonkeen College, Deansgrange, are alarmed at the decision of the religious order to sell two-thirds of the school's lands for an estimated €18m.

The religious order said it must sell the land to pay off the €10m which it pledged to pay to the Redress Scheme for sexual abuse victims. The school has 550 boys and the opening of a new extension will increase the roll to 620.

Parents fund-raised a decade ago and spent almost €440,000 on drainage works on the school playing pitches. The school has a sterling reputation for producing GAA and soccer teams.

A meeting took place last night at the school to inform parents of the decision. Teachers claim more than 600 pupils need sufficient playing space for both physical and mental health reasons.

"We feel the pitches are being whipped from under our feet," said a school source. The religious order has indicated it plans to complete the sale of the lands by the end of the year.

Irish Independent

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