Breathnach calls on Education Minister to help in reopening Faughart NS
Local TD Declan Breathnach has called for Faughart National School to be reopened.
The school has been lying idle since last September when parents withdrew their children from it in a protest over its management.
This has had a huge impact in the community, with several of the school’s staff laid off as a result.
Speaking in the Dáil yesterday Fianna Fáil TD Breathnach pleaded with Education Minister Richard Bruton to meet with Archbishop Eamon Martin to get the necessary permission to transfer the school to new patronage with the Louth Meath Education Training Board (LMETB) willing to run the school from next September.
Deputy Breathnach said: “The Education Act makes provision for an existing Patron to transfer patronage to another Patron. The school was closed in mid-September 2017 in order to find a solution to the on-going problems relating to management and leadership and the consequent drop in enrolments. At the time it was said verbally to me and others that the Church and Department would allow it to be divested in another patronage.
“It has been confirmed to me that the Louth Meath Education Training Board (LMETB) are willing to open the school by September 2018 under their patronage and are waiting for various issues to be ironed out to pave the way for this to happen.
“Archbishop Martin responded to representations made to him and he stated that he was waiting on clarification on certain issues from the Department.
“We all know that the village school is the hub of any community, and it is sad and disappointing that notwithstanding valiant efforts by the parents, families, and community in Faughart, this school remains closed today. The families want to get their children back to school at Faughart.
“I asked the Minister if the Archbishop were to cede the property to the State can the Department not deal with the questions that he has asked as quickly as possible, answer all of the Archbishop’s concerns and get Faughart School re-opened as soon as possible.
“The reply I received in the Dáil was that the Minister would look favourably on any request to change the patronage of Faughart National School. However I pointed out that this will not happen unless the Minister meets with Archbishop Eamon Martin and get the necessary Letter of Request for a change of patronage from him. I asked that this would happen immediately,” said Breathnach.