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Coláiste Lú parents to take fight for Irish medium education to the High Court

Coláiste Lú parents to take fight for Irish medium education to the High Court

The Coláiste Lú Parents Council have issued a statement saying they will take their fight for the right of the school’s students to continue to receive their education through Irish to the High Court.

Following on from their recent public protest, the parents said they felt left in the dark and hit out at the Louth Meath Education and Training Board for their failure to respond to them on the issues they have raised.

The statement read: “Coláiste Lú parents have come the conclusion that they have been left with “no choice” but to file an application to the High Court in a fight for the right for students of Coláiste Lú to continue to receive Irish medium education. The school, which has aonad status within the English speaking Coláiste Chú Chulainn school in Dundalk, had almost all of the Irish medium education withdrawn without consultation or notice at the beginning of this school year and parents are still in the dark as to why or on what legal basis the Principal/LMETB could justify such action.

“As their protest and petition last week didn’t result in any response from Louth Meath Education & Training Board (LMETB) to the parents, Coláiste Lú Parents Council instructed a solicitor to contact LMETB by letter/email.

“In spite of a further letter Friday, parents had no meaningful response until the latest letter was sent Monday afternoon, advising that parents were now planning an application to the High Court and asking for a response by midday on Tuesday 10th September. While no response was received within the requested timeframe, LMETB later responded by advising that they were now working on the issue and that they would revert with proposals on Wed 11th Sept.

“At the time of this press release, parents have not received notification of their proposals.

“On Tuesday, after receiving a High Court warning letter, LMETB then contacted parents representatives inviting them to a meeting to discuss issues. Despite the tardiness of response and fact invitation appeared only to be issued under threat of High Court action, parents responded swiftly to receipt of this invitation and expect to meet with LMETB early next week.

“Separately, a local TD has arranged to meet with Martin O’Brien, CE of LMETB on his own to discuss the situation and listen to LMETB proposals. A second Louth TD has arranged to visit Coláiste Lú in an attempt to find out what has caused the problems currently facing the school.

“Parents are hopeful that these discussions may lead to further meetings and a productive resolution to this crisis.

“At the time of this press release parents have received no other communication in writing regarding their children’s education or Irish medium education.

“Parents have also been advised that as a result of the lack of Irish medium education in Colásite Lú that of the 30 sixth year pupils of the primary feeder school, Gael Scoil Dún Dealgan, that not a single pupil is now applying to go to Coláiste Lú with all intending applicants rescinding their applications. This will be a major blow to Irish medium education in the North East and will effectively be the end of Coláiste Lú.

“This comes on top of continuing haemorrhaging of pupils away from the school, with two more pupils leaving in the past week and more expected. The school has now lost over 12% of its pupil numbers since summer holidays began.

“Coláiste Lú Parents Council Secretary, Aidan Kinsella, said that “following a meeting of the parents of Coláiste Lú on Friday 5th Sept, they resolved that no further walk outs or protests would be held in the coming week in order to give TD’s meetings breathing space and in the hope that this crisis will be resolved quickly. The current disruption to our children’s education should not be exacerbated by missing school days protesting.

“This, however, is contingent on genuine and honest engagement by LMETB and Principal to swiftly provide the necessary resources to re-establish the aonad as it used to be run.”