Battle looms for control of 13 new primary schools

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Katherine Donnelly

A big battle is shaping up for control of 13 primary schools opening next September.

The schools were announced earlier this year, and parents will soon be invited to have a say on patronage.

An Foras Pátrúnachta (AFP), the largest patron of Gaelscoileanna, will be pitching for all 13, it announced yesterday.

AFP, which runs 71 schools, at primary and post-primary level, offers parents a choice of either a denominational, multi-denominational or interdenominational ethos.

Its general secretary Caoimhín Ó hEaghra said the demand for places in Gaelscoileanna continued to grow at a rapid rate.

Educate Together, which operates 97 primary and post-primary schools, will bid for 12 of the schools.

Education and training boards are expected to pitch for most, if not all, of the schools, with a view to expanding the community national school model.

Smaller patron bodies may also put themselves in the running for some schools.

A Department of Education spokesperson said the patronage process for the schools would open before the end of the year. Parents will be able to log on to a single website, compare the patron bodies and express their preferences.

The Dublin schools will be in Booterstown/Blackrock; Donaghmede/Howth/Dublin 13; Killester/Raheny/Clontarf; Drumcondra/Marino/Dublin 1; Swords (north and south); Dublin 6/Clonskeagh/Dublin 6W; and Goatstown/Stillorgan/Dún Laoghaire Rathdown. Others will open in Kilcoole/Mountkennedy, Co Wicklow; Leixlip and Maynooth, both Co Kildare; Dunshauglin, Co Meath; and Glasheen/Cork city/Pouladuff.

Irish Independent

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