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27/09/2021

County Limerick school to reopen after closure of, not months, but years!

County Limerick school to reopen after closure of, not months, but years!

Glenroe Community National School is to open its doors for the first time since 2015 in September

IT WILL be a special day when all schools reopen but especially so for Glenroe National School as it has been closed since 2015.

Minister Patrick O’Donovan announced two weeks ago that Glenroe NS is to reopen in September. The decision was made by the Minister for Education Joe McHugh after a long process which included Minister O'Donovan, the local community in Glenroe and the Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board.

But they can't have a school without pupils and parents are being asked to register their interest.

Glenroe Community National School Working Group said there has been a history of primary education in the Parish for many years with Glenroe NS being one of the first national schools to be established in Ireland in the 1840s.

Mary Hanley O’Brien, chairperson of the working group, said the community can now take great pride in establishing one of the first rural community national schools in Ireland in Glenroe in 2020.

"The opening of the new primary school is set to fill the void that has existed in the rural parish of Glenroe–Ballyorgan since Glenroe NS and Ballyorgan NS closed in 2015 and 2010 respectively. Furthermore, the community national school model will also add to the diversity of school choice in the wider community.

"In line with the policy intent of the Minister of Education and Skills, the Department intends to reopen Glenroe NS as a community national School through a pilot programme under the patronage of Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board.

"It is hoped that the reopening of Glenroe NS under the patronage of Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board will pave the way for other rural primary schools which may have closed as a result of budget cutbacks between 2012 and 2015, to reopen their doors as community national schools. Glenroe CNS will be the first rural school in the country to partake in this pilot programme," said Ms Hanley O'Brien.

This project has the strong support of the local community, parish priest, Diocese of Limerick and Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board. 

While the Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board are currently busy this week accepting expressions of interest for enrolment, the Glenroe CNS Working Group are exploring the issues of childcare and transport. 

Parents can express their interest at https://forms.gle/nGUbiGaQE4BZrR7g7 Those seeking further information in relation to Glenroe CNS are encouraged to contact 087 28 98 215 or glenroecommunitynationalschool@gmail.com

Minister Patrick O'Donovan said the reopening of the school is one of the projects he is most proud of.

"I have worked on this for months. We met with the minister and the local community in his office in Dublin a number of months ago and we presented the data that showed if the school reopened, then it could be sustained.

"We received fantastic support from the former patron, the Bishop of Limerick, and the agreed new patron, the Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board. It will be the first of its kind in Limerick, with a new patron, and I know from all our discussions that they have the best interest of the children of the area in mind. They have already had a very successful meeting with the parents in the area, and I know from speaking to them that they are up for it and are very enthusiastic to see the school reopen."

Minister O'Donovan said that this decision would give great hope to other rural communities, that when they come together and engage with State agencies what can be achieved.

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