New school opens deep in the Kerry Gaeltacht

Minister for Education, Norma Foley ,with Principal Sorcha Ní Chatháin at the opening of Scoil an Ghleanna Community National School on Friday. Pictures: Michelle Cooper Galvin

A new community national school – the first of its kind in a Gaeltacht area – has been officially opened by Education Minister, Norma Foley, for the Kerry Education and Training Board.

Scoil an Ghleanna Community National, in Ballinskelligs, transferred from Catholic to multi-denominational patronage in 2019, becoming Ireland’s first Gaeltacht based community national school.

To celebrate the big occasion, school staff, parents, community representatives, Kerry ETB board members, staff and local councillors joined the pupils of Scoil an Ghleanna for the official opening ceremony.

Captaen Donncha Ó Síodhacháin ó Óglaigh na hÉireann presenting the national flag to pupil Tiernan McGillicuddy and Principal Sorcha Ní Chatháin at the opening of Scoil an Ghleanna Community National School on Friday

Minister Foley remarked: “I am acutely aware of the proud tradition and importance that this school has in the Glen. Community national schools are an integral part of our education system and it is heartening to see so many from the local community here”.

The minister congratulated principal Sorcha Ní Chatháin and the cathaoirleach of the board of management, retired primary school inspector Pádraig Ó Donnabháin welcomed the gathering.

Scoil an Ghleanna is the only multi-denominational school in the area providing a choice in education for parents. Families can also avail of school transport from across the district.

Principal Sorcha Ní Chatháin described Scoil an Ghleanna as a vibrant and energetic school, dedicated to providing the best possible education to its pupils.

“The members of our school community have shown great determination in supporting us, thus ensuring that the strong history of education in The Glen continues into the future,” she said.

While all community national schools provide the national primary curriculum, they also offer a patrons’ curriculum which is a multi-belief and values education curriculum, enabling children to encounter identity education, values education, philosophy and multi-denominational religious education.

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