MORE than 50 parents have been camping out for up to two days to get a place in a desirable secondary school for their daughters.
The parents have been stationed in the car park of Presentation Secondary School in Tralee, Co Kerry, since Thursday to keep their place in the queue for enrollment, which begins this morning at 10am.
The first came bright and early at 6am on Thursday and have remained in the car park to be sure they are there for the hourly roll call, which ensures they keep their place. At just five months old, Sophie Condon was the youngest person in the car park yesterday.
Sleeping soundly in her rock-a-tot, the infant was blissfully unaware that her mother Sharon's sacrifice could ensure her place in the school in the future.
"I was afraid that I'd have to stand in line in a queue with her so it's not so bad," Mrs Condon told the Irish Independent. "I have four daughters and they'll all benefit from this."
Presentation Secondary School is an all-girls school in the town but it is not the only school serving Tralee.
However, the parents in the queue for enrollment yesterday are convinced their daughters would have the best start by being accepted into the school. School's principal Sheila Pontillo insists that queuing is unnecessary, but made the school hall available to parents overnight.
The school offers 130 places each year and about 50 of these are reserved for girls at its feeder school, Presentation Primary.
"I told them there was no need to do it but they explained they wanted to be certain their child would get a place," said Ms Pontillo.
Ms Pontillo said that parents who turned up early this morning should have a good chance of securing a place for their child.