By Dan Walsh
Gorey Educate Together Secondary School has received confirmation of a permanent site location adjacent to its current temporary location on the old mushroom production plant on the Fort Road at Creagh.
However, while the news is universally welcomed concerns have been raised locally about the location and pressure on traffic management.
Minister James Browne, who had been in regular contact with Education Minister Norma Foley T.D. in efforts to establish a permanent school location said; “This is a positive day for the school’s students, staff and parents. I commend principal Conor Berry who has been active in securing the school’s permanent home.
“However, any plans for the construction of the permanent school at its current site on the Fort Road must take local residents’ concerns into consideration.
“I have contacted the Department of Education to ensure that the school’s plans include full consideration of the need for adequate footpaths and cycleways in the area. With traffic volumes bound to increase in the area, the Department needs to be mindful of the health and safety of local residents and road users alike.”
Senator Malcolm Byrne stated; “The Department of Education has confirmed that agreement in principle has been reached for the acquisition of a new greenfield site at Creagh to accommodate the development of a new 1,000 pupil post primary school for recently established Gorey Educate Together Secondary School. The acquisition is subject to satisfactory completion of the conveyancing process.”
Cllr Joe Sullivan said that while he welcomes the new school he believes that the location “is completely wrong”.
“Alternative sites were available on the eastern side of the town. I cannot say that I am in agreement with the location on the west side of the town. When the campaign began it was mainly driven by residents of the Courtown/Riverchapel area with children of secondary school going age. These people worked hard and must now feel somewhat aggrieved that they will have to battle through heavy traffic morning and evening to get their children to school in an area that is already, in my opinion, over populated with schools.
“We have concentrated too many of our educational facilities on the western side of the town”, stated Cllr Sullivan, who added; Sites were available on the eastern side of Gorey town that would be easily accessible to traffic from the heavily populated primary schools of Castletown, Tara Hill, Riverchapel, Ballygarrett and Ballycanew. Unless the road infrastructure is improved and improved quickly around Gorey town morning and evening traffic will be chaotic.
Cllr Fionntán Ó Súilleabháin said; “Well done to all those who have helped in the campaign for a third secondary school for the Gorey area. I will continue to campaign for major road safety improvements along and in vicinity of the Fort Road.”