Parents ‘driven demented’ trying to find primary school places in north Dublin

Minister for Education Norma Foley said requirements for school places in the Donaghmede and Howth areas are under ongoing review

Amy Blaney

Parents are being “driven demented” trying to find primary school places in certain areas of north Dublin, the Dáil has been told.

Parents of children living in Howth and Donaghmede, particularly the Belmayne, Clongriffin and Parkside estates, are having “serious problems” finding schools for this September.

Sean Haughey TD told Minister for Education Norma Foley that additional primary school places are needed across suburban areas of north Dublin to meet a growing increase in population.

The Dublin Bay North TD said the two schools of Belmayne Educate Together National School and St Francis of Assisi Primary School have been particularly affected.

“They [parents] have been told by the schools that they cannot accommodate any more pupils and that their children will be put on waiting lists,” said Mr Haughey.

“These parents have also applied to other primary schools in the area as well as schools in adjacent school planning areas and catchment areas, including Portmarnock and Malahide, but to no avail.”

Deputy Haughey said there is “massive building and construction” of residential developments taking place in the area and “adequate planning” is needed for the resulting increase in population.

He said parents in the Killester, Raheny and Clontarf school planning area and in the Beaumont, Coolock area have also made contact about difficulties in sourcing school places.

“It is clear that extra classes are needed in this school planning area for the 2023/2024 academic year,” said Mr Haughey.

In response, Minister for Education Norma Foley said “significant additional primary capacity is already being delivered in the area”, including two recently established primary schools.

A new 16-classroom building for the Stapolin Educate Together National School is currently under way. A project to deliver eight new school classrooms for Colaiste Gaelscoil Ghráinne Mhaol in Donaghmede is at stage one.

“There are further projects providing additional capacity at Holy Trinity Senior [in Donahgmede] and a recent project at Howth National School provided for new classrooms,” she added.

The Department divides the country into 314 school planning areas and uses a geographical information system to predict school placement demand.

Ms Foley said the Department would keep the requirements for school places in the Donaghmede and Howth area under “ongoing review”.