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Friday 24 January 2020

Principal gets her wish after 12 years

Katherine Donnelly

Katherine Donnelly

FOR principal Margaret Howard and the families in Rathcormac, Co Cork, the long years of lobbying, wishing and hoping are finally over.

After years of lists, more lists and lots of disappointments, the diggers are expected to start work on the site for their new school after St Patrick's weekend.

Yesterday, the Rathcormac NS appeared on the list that matters -- the list of school building projects going ahead this year.

"Everybody is thrilled. We are at it 12 years. It is well overdue. It has been a long road, with many twists and turns," said Ms Howard.

One of the most unexpected twists came in 2009, when former Fianna Fail TD Ned O'Keeffe, one of their constituency representatives in the Dail, rained heavily on their parade. "I haven't been ever top of the list in Rathcormac, so I mean if Rathcormac wants me to support them, then they should support me," he said at the time. "There is a fabulous layout of Portakabins there. There are many other schools that need funding first."

Rathcormac had been crying out for a new school for about a decade, and with good reason. The original three-roomed school dates back to 1948 and, over the years, demand for extra accommodation was met through the addition of 10 prefabs. The pressure intensified during the 1990s with the construction of 600 new houses in the area.

Enrolments have risen from about 90 students in 1990 to 261 today, but even with that rapid growth the school couldn't make it to the top of the department's list.

But now Ms Howard expects the new school to be completed in about 15 months.

Irish Independent

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