July 29, 2021

Space mission: Social-distance move to reopen Tramore’s vacant schools

Councillors in the Tramore area have been urged to ensure there is sufficient space for children to return to the town’s schools in September.

The call comes as one representative has compiled figures showing that Tramore is poorly served for schools in comparison to towns of similar size or smaller.

People Before Profit (PBP) wants all education space in Tramore made ready to accommodate classes, with sufficient social distancing for both staff and students.

“Tramore has two vacant schools which should be prepared immediately as suitable classrooms for September,” said Úna Dunphy of PBP.

She said the two vacant schools – CBS and Stella Maris – should be prepared immediately as suitable classrooms for September.

She called on six local councillors – Joe Kelly (Ind), Jim Griffin (SF), Lola O’Sullivan (FG), Susan Gallagher (Greens), Eamon Quinlan (FF) and Joe Conway (Ind) –  “to ensure that Tramore has a prompt reopening of schools with all physical space opened up where needed”.

Cllr Conway, meanwhile, produced figures showing that Tramore “is at the bottom of the pile when it comes to educational choice at second level”.

He points out that Tramore, with a population of 10,381, has just one second-level school, Ard Scoil na Mara, whereas Dungarvan (population 9,227) has four schools and New Ross (8,040 ) has five. Carrick on Suir, with a population of just 5,771, has three second level schools.

“There are at least three defunct educational sites in the town, but planners do not seem to look any further than the housing option for these,” Cllr Conway said in a statement.

“To turn these sites over to housing – in a growing town, with just one second-level school – strikes me as a nadir of social and educational Luddism on the part of some planners.  It seems that the range of thinking cannot see past houses and, sadly, dereliction for Tramore.

“If we are to guarantee the delivery of educational choice in the next ten years, it is right now that the planning should be done.  There is a serious need to engage with the various patronage bodies to avoid the disaster of selling off everything for housing.  Tossing our educational sites into the housing morass is tantamount to not only selling the silverware, but the old dresser as well.”

PHOTO: Stock image 

Shane Doran

Shane Doran is founder and Co-Managing Editor of News Now Media, incorporating KilkennyNow.ie, WaterfordNow.ie and WicklowNow.ie. He is a former newspaper editor who has held senior executive roles across five national newspaper titles, both broadsheet and tabloid. He was News Editor and Executive Editor of the Irish Independent for more than seven years and spent a number of years in South Africa where he worked as editor of The Daily Voice newspaper. Shane has held senior editorial position with The Sunday Independent, The Herald and The Irish Daily Star and has served as Executive Editor (Group) of Independent News & Media (INM), Ireland’s largest newspaper group.

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