Parent power secures 1,000-pupil secondary school for Citywest area

By Mary Dennehy

AFTER a lengthy campaign by members of the community, a 1,000-pupil secondary school is scheduled to open in Citywest in September, 2020.

It was announced today that 42 new primary and secondary schools are to be built across the country in the next four years – 23 of which will be built in the Dublin area.

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One of the areas included on the Government's list is Citywest, where a 1,000-pupil secondary school is scheduled to open in September 2020.

The Government has also agreed to fund two, new eight classroom primary schools, one is scheduled to be built in the Newcastle, Rathcoole and Saggart catchment area by 2020 and a second in Clondalkin – which has a projected open date of 2021.

For close to five years, a parent-led campaign for a secondary school in Citywest has been ongoing, with parents stressing that close to 1,900 children will be attending the area’s four primary schools by 2019. 

The campaign was led by the Citywest Educate Together Second Level Campaign Group.

Speaking after today’s news, group chairperson and parent David Murphy said: “I feel like we have won the lotto". 

My Murphy stressed that there has been a dire need for a second level school in the Citywest/Saggart area for more than a decade.

According to Census 2016, Saggart is the fastest growing town in Ireland, with a further 526 homes this week approved for Fortunestown Lane and Garter Lane.

Welcoming the news of the Citywest school, Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Katherine Zappone TD said: “The need for a new second level school has been raised by local parents and families with me as a priority issue.

“It was clear to all who live in Citywest, Saggart and Rathcoole that the demand was there. Now I am glad that a population review by the Department of Education has confirmed this.”

Minister Zappone added: “I also welcome the fact that a process will be run to establish parental preference for the patronage of the new school.

“Minister Bruton [Minister for Education] will also announce that a new online Patronage Process system is being developed. This new system will allow for more efficient collection and processing of parental preferences.

“Timelines on this project need to be met and I am asking that regular updates are placed online for local people.”

More on this story in next Thursday’s Echo.

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