Thursday 18 July 2019

New site proposed for Swords school

Cllr Darragh Butler (FF)
Cllr Darragh Butler (FF)

John Manning

While a competition is underway to see who will win patronage of a new school in south Swords, the location of that school is still a matter of debate.

It was always understood that the school would be on lands in Fosterstown but with the development of those lands largely dependent on the arrival of Metrolink to Swords, and the school due to open in September, an interim home is being sought for the school

Swords councillors have grown increasingly concerned that the sites being considered for the new school would not be convenient for families living in the south of Swords and could be as far away as Drynam or Kinsealy.

Those concerns were discussed at an area committee meeting before Christmas where Swords councillors were united in their view there had to be a way of siting the school on or near the Fosterstown lands.

However, since that meeting another possible temporary location for the new school is emerging.

The new location being considered is understood to be at the National Show Centre, which on the face of it would better serve the population in south Swords including those living in Ridgewood and Boroimhe and River Valley.

Cllr Darragh Butler (FF) recently informed his constituents of the proposal.

He said the primary school for Swords is 'being proposed first of all at a temporary location at the National Show Centre, with a permanent site to be developed on the Forest Road, ideally the Fosterstown lands which is the land between Boroimhe and Swords on the Boroimbe side of the Forest Road.'

Cllr Butler said: 'Along with the other Councillors, we have been working to ensure that the permanent location for this new school will be on the Forest Road, in order to help alleviate the massive demand on Holy Family, which will be over-subscribed once again this year.

'Whilst it is not ideal that we start off with a temporary site, I believe that this is best we could have hoped for in the short-term, that the school opens on this temporary site this coming September and we then continue the battle to have this school moved to the Fosterstown Lands on the Forest Road as soon as possible.

'This is the only way I can see us successfully alleviating the on-going demand on Holy Family year after year.'

Holy Family NS in River Valley now has an annual issue accommodating the demand on it from a growing population in this area of Swords.

It is over-subscribed every year and the problem shows no sign of slowing down.

Local councillors have criticised the Department of Education for its response to the problem and have tried to impress upon the department that school places available elsewhere in Swords will not help address the problems in the south of Swords.

Fingal Independent