The proposed new school building for Presentation College Athenry has finally been given the go-ahead by the Department of Education.
The development comes after more than 1,000 people attended a public meeting to discuss the proposed new school building.
Almost €1 million had already been spent on the plans for the new school for Presentation College Athenry, when a planning application was stalled more than three years ago.
CEIST, the Trustee Body for Presentation College Athenry, has now received confirmation that the Department will be reverting to the Raheen Woods site as the only feasible option for the location of the new secondary school.
In a statement Bernard Keeley, Chairperson of the CEIST Board of Directors, acknowledged the major progress made over the last two weeks in seeking to resolve the difficulties with the location of the new school.
“Athenry is one of CEIST’s 110 schools throughout the country and for the last three years the issue of site location for the new school has been a major concern for our Board of Directors. Since the public meeting on February 11 last, major progress has been made in seeking to convince the Department of Education and Skills to refocus on the Raheen Woods site. This culminated with the announcement by An Tánaiste Joan Burton T.D., last Thursday that the site for the new school would be at Raheen Woods.”
In a statement IDA Ireland said they would work closely with the Department to ensure Athenry can benefit from improved educational facilities as well as continued enterprise development and jobs.
“IDA Ireland looks forward to engaging with the Department of Education to advance the chosen site in a way that meets the objectives of the provision of a new school and enterprise development on the adjacent (site) landbank.”
Labour Senator Lorraine Higgins said she is “delighted” to see the new school building come to fruition in her hometown after a false dawn in 2011.
“The fact the Department now agree with what I have been saying with regard to the Presentation’s own site being the only suitable site is a huge stride forward for a new educational campus on the school’s preferred site.”