St Enda’s School in Limerick to close down over next three years

Nick Rabbitts


Nick Rabbitts

ST Enda’s Community School is to close down as a post-primary school over the next three years.

ST Enda’s Community School is to close down as a post-primary school over the next three years.

The City VEC, which is a trustee of the school, decided to wind the school down over the next three years.

It is thought the low number of students - just 127 - is one of the reasons this decision has been taken.

The news comes as a massive blow, due to the fact it is the only post-primary school in the southside regeneration areas.

Many students with learning difficulties benefit from the smaller class sizes.

This is because the school is designated as DEIS - Delivering Equality of Opportunity in Schools .

This meant it benefits from additional teachers and other supports.

A group of disillusioned parents showed their dismay outside the school on Monday afternoon.

Labour councillor Joe Leddin, a member of the VEC, and the board of management at St Enda’s, criticised the decision.

“I am disappointed by the decision. Notwithstanding the issue of the numbers attending the school, I am disappointed as it is a DEIS school, it is strategically located in a disadvantaged, marginalised area,” he said.

Further meetings on the matter are due to take place, with Cllr Leddin saying that they will look at bringing in adult education and youth facilities.

With the school’s closure, there will be a massive bank of unused land, after the neighbouring swimming pool shut last year.

Cllr Leddin said: “The plan is to immediately begin the integration of adult education in the school, and ordinary youth education through Youthreach. The grounds are under-utilised.”

One parent, Noelle O’Malley, Crosagalla, saw her daughter start at the school only last week.

“Where would we send our children now? Where are they going to get the level of education they enjoy here? They are in small classes. They will get lost in other parts of the system? We talk about children of the future. They are not letting children have a future,” she said.

Karol Canty, Glenbrook, said her 14-year-old daughter has refused to move to any other school, such is the quality of education she enjoys at St Enda’s.

“How can they justify taking the education away from these children, stashing them into other classrooms? People give out all the time saying classrooms are overcrowded. If they take these out, classrooms are going to be more overcrowded still,” she said.

She urged all parents, grandparents and the students to join a bid to save St Enda’s school.

Simone Irvine drives across from Thomondgate every day to take her autistic son to the school.

She said: “I am disgusted at the moment. I have a son in second year: he has autism and ADHD, and this school has brought him on in leaps and bounds. I cannot understand why they are so happy to take that away from him.”

No spokesperson for the City VEC or the school were available for comment.