Parents vow to fight Limerick school closure

Nick Rabbitts

Reporter:

Nick Rabbitts

A COMMITTEE designed to mobilise opposition to the planned closure of St Enda’s Community School has met.

A COMMITTEE designed to mobilise opposition to the planned closure of St Enda’s Community School has met.

Around ten people were at the Southill Area Centre on Monday to look at ways of reversing the closure of the Kilmallock Road school.

Since the decision was taken by the joint trustees of the school two weeks ago, citing declining student numbers, parents cannot formally appeal this.

But City TD Willie O’Dea, who attended, said he would ask Minister Ruairi Quinn to instruct the VEC to reverse the decision to cut.

This is unlikely to be possible, however, after VEC boss Paul Patton said because the trustees operate separately from the government, Mr Quinn has no power to make an order on them.

Parents have been left furious at the decision, and have questioned the impact it will have on their children.

Noelle O’Malley, Crosagalla, accused the VEC of “shattering” the hopes of dozens of parents.

“Every parent wants their child educated properly. It is going to be very hard to move a child into third year. They have only two years between then and leaving cert. That is like starting primary school all over again,” she said.

Ms O’Malley added that instead of the VEC making the decision at a behind-closed-doors meeting, they should have spoken with students and parents.

Mr O’Dea has vowed to ensure the closure of the school - which has 127 students - will be raised on the Dail floor

“The government has spent millions and millions of tax payers money trying to regenerate this area. Here’s the government that is presiding over that expenditure trying to take away from planting the infrastructure here. It makes absolutely no sense.”

Cllr Kieran O’Hanlon is to ask City VEC chairman, Cllr Denis McCarthy to call a special meeting where parents can put their questions.

“There are no guarantees children will get places locally. That is not good enough. The decision should never have been taken to close that school until we at least had placements for them,” he said.