Coláiste Lú to hold public meeting on Monday to discuss school’s future
The parents and guardians of students attending Coláiste Lú will hold an open meeting this Monday October 14th in the Crowne Plaza Hotel to discuss the ongoing battle to have their children educated through Irish.
They have invited all current and potential future parents and those interested in Irish medium education in Louth and the North East to attend the gathering, which gets underway at 6.30pm.
In their latest update following six weeks of protests, say they have written to the Department of Education once again after receiving what they describe as “mixed messages” from the Louth Meath Education Training Board (LMETB) and school management.
The parents say they have been left querying where the LMETB and the school “are capable of repairing the operational and reputational damage caused over the past year.”
In a statement issued today, they said: “Commitments given by Department officials and LMETB are once again in doubt following the 6th week of public protests about the de-gaeling of Coláiste Lú, Co Louth’s only all Irish post-primary college.
Parents, since their trip to the Dáil to present a petition to the Minister of Education last week, had been informed that Department of Education officials have committed to providing additional resources to the school. Parents are extremely heartened by this and believe that there is now a genuine and concerted attempt by the Dept to help resolve the crisis.
“Parents subsequently had a very positive meeting with LMETB’s CEO – Martin O’Brien – on 8th October, who updated them on steps that he was taking to utilise these resources. He advised that while they were advertising extensively that there were a very limited number of teachers applying.
“However, at an open night in Coláiste Chú Chulainn and Coláiste Lú by school management that same night, there was no promotion of Coláiste Lú or Irish medium education. The area and rooms used by Coláiste Lú pupils remained locked with no ability for interested parents and future pupils to view them.
“Concerned parents asked the principal on the night why there was no promotion of Irish medium education and those
parents have reported that they were advised that in the view of the principal that there was no future for the Aonad Coláiste Lú in Coláiste Chú Chulainn as teachers couldn’t be recruited.
“It has also been reported to the Parent’s Council that there were no applications for Irish medium education put forward on the open night, with all parents and prospective pupils having left disappointed and upset with this confirmation of their worst fears.
“As it stands today, parents believe that Coláiste Lú as an Aonad is dead, that the principal is working on this assumption and that while it appears outwardly that steps are being taken to save the Aonad, in practice there will be no Irish medium education available in Co Louth next year.
“Parents have asked Martin O’Brien – LMETB CEO – to address a meeting of current and potential future parents of his vision for the future of Irish medium education in Co Louth and how the current issues can be addressed. They have also asked An Foras Pátrúnachta if they would send representatives to this meeting to present proposals. Both have confirmed that they will attend. Parents have also asked the Dept of Education if they would send officials to observe and/or answer questions on the policies set out in their letter of 2nd Oct to LMETB and are awaiting confirmation.
“An open meeting will be held in the Crowne Plaza, Dundalk, Monday 14th Oct at 18:30. The meeting is aimed at all current and potential future parents, and people interested in Irish
medium education in Co. Louth and the North East.
“Those affected by the imminent closure of Coláiste Lú are hoping that this meeting will send a clear message to the Dept of Education that there is a real demand for sustainable second level Irish medium education to be provided in Co Louth, and would encourage as many interested people as possible to attend.
“Parents are seeking to explore any viable option that can quickly translate into concrete proposals and resources to enable their children to be taught through Irish this year and into the future.”