Dublin West TD and Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar has said the decision to appoint the Edmund Rice School Trust (ERST) as the patron for a new 1,000-student secondary school for the Carpenterstown & Castleknock area will enhance parental choice in the area. The new school will begin enrolment with a view to opening to first-year students in September 2017. The exact location of the new school has yet to be determined.
“Currently, all of the secondary schools in Castleknock, including Carpenterstown, are either fee-paying or Community Colleges under the patronage of the Dublin & Dun Laoghaire Education and Training Board. There is no non-fee paying school under the patronage of a Catholic body in the area. There is a new Educate Together Secondary School not too far away in Hansfield. The decision to appoint ERST as patron will give parents in the area more choice about the ethos in which they want their son or daughter to be educated. The fact that it will not be a Community College means it should have no impact on the admission policy that currently applies to Castleknock Community College and Luttrellstown Community College. It will, most likely, accept children from the general area.
“It is my view that the new school should be located in Castleknock east of the M50 on part of the undeveloped lands of the former Phoenix Park Racecourse. It does not make sense to locate it too close to the existing secondary schools which are both west of the M50. The Department would have to buy the site as the lands are privately owned.
“I am concerned, however, at the possibility that this new school might also provide for a home for a new Irish language medium Aonad. It is my strong view, supported by campaigners for an Aonad in Dublin 15, that the Irish language school should start its life and be located adjacent to Luttrellstown Community College. This would mean that the Aonad would have the assistance of an established school in its initial years, be close to the centre of the Dublin 15 and thus accessible, would not have a religious patron, and would be multi-denominational in line with the wishes of the community.
“I am seeking a meeting with my colleague Minister Bruton and his officials to discuss my concerns.”