DE Approves Irish-medium Education in Glengormley, Crumlin and Derry
The Chief Executive of Iontaobhas na Gaelscolaíochta, Pilib ó Ruanaí, welcomed the Department of Education decision to award grant-aided status to Irish-medium primary schools in Glengormley, Crumlin and Ballymagroarty, Derry.
Speaking following the announcement that funding has been approved for the three Irish-medium schools Pilib said:
This is positive confirmation of the Department’s support for the Irish-medium sector. It is also an indication of the continuing increase in demand for Irish-medium education throughout the north. Irish-medium education is critical to the creation of an Irish-speaking community. Only communities with Irish-medium education at their centre will be able to make the transition from being supportive of the Irish language to using the Irish language. This is a first historic step in that journey for families in the Glengormley, Crumlin and Ballymagroarty areas”.
He went on to praise the efforts of those who played a key role in the establishment of Irish-medium education in the three areas, including people in the local community who took the first important steps in establishing Irish-medium pre-school provision.
He encouraged parents in the Glengormley, Crumlin and Ballymagroarty areas to continue to send their children to their local Naíscoil and stated that by sending them on to their newly-funded primary schools, they would be playing their part in the creation of the first generation of Irish speakers in these areas since the language ceased to be used as a community language in the early 20th century.
Gaelscoil Ghleann Darach, Glenavy Road, Crumlin, was established in 2002 following the establishment of an Irish-medium pre-school in the area in 2001.
Gaelscoil Éanna, the Irish-medium primary school in Glengormley is based at St Enda’s GAC on the Hightown Road and will be entering its first year in September 2007. A naíscoil was established on the same site in 2004.
Gaelscoil na Daróige in the Ballymagroarty area of Derry is one of three Irish-medium primary schools in the city and was established in 2005.
The ever growing Irish-medium sector now caters for over 4,000 children throughout Northern Ireland at pre-school, primary and post primary level. There are currently 77 schools in Northern Ireland offering Irish-medium education.