Wednesday 24 April 2019

Relief for parents as Creagh College clears waiting list

Elaine Clarke
Elaine Clarke

Cathy Lee

Creagh College has announced that all sixth class pupils on their waiting list as of April 2 will be offered a place for September.

The news will come as a huge relief to parents and pupils who were on the waiting list in what was an anxious and uncertain situation. Over 20 students were offered places, with acceptances already coming back within the last week. Any late applications will go onto a new waiting list, Creagh College confirmed. The school made the offer after assurances were given about necessary additional resources being made available this September to meet demand.

Elaine Clarke, who is spearheading a campaign highlighting the need for a third second level school in North Wexford, welcomed the news explaining that it will 'Give everyone this year a place' as well as hope for those parents of children in forth and fifth class.

In February, Elaine collected over 1,000 signatures as part of the campaign and presented it to the Minister of Education, Joe McHugh. She added that she feels like the demands of the campaign have been listened to and that this announcement from Creagh College is a win, but she added 'We're getting there, we haven't quite got there yet'. The mother of five, who began working on the campaign in January, said that the campaign will continue to highlight the need for an additional second level school in North Wexford, whether this be in Gorey, or closer to the areas of Riverchapel and Courtown to meet the growing population there.

The Chair of the Board at Creagh College, Cllr Malcolm Byrne described the need to address growing demand for school places as a crisis that has 'Hit sooner than expected'. He continued that this news was positive for those children and their families who have been waiting on places but warned that 'We cannot continue with sticking plaster solutions on school place shortages. The government has known of the North Wexford school challenge for a number of years. We need planning for a third school in the area to commence now'.

Going forward, Elaine Clarke and other parents would like to see more collaboration on the issues of secondary school places between both Creagh College and Gorey Community School, and a meeting about this will take place between the two schools on Tuesday, April 9, at 7 p.m. in the Amber Springs Hotel, Gorey. Elaine, who lives in Riverchapel, said that this is not just a Riverchapel issue, that it 'Affects everyone in Gorey'. She said that she will continue to be vocal about the issue to prevent the problem from happening again. 'This is going to be ongoing,' said Elaine adding that a focus needs to be put on a third school being the actual solution.

Gorey Guardian