Gaelscéal : Irish Language Nursery refused by Sinn Féin minister

Tuairisc le Colm Ó Broin :

Gaelscéal: Naíscoil na Daróige diúltaithe ag John O’Dowd

Tá tuairisc i nGaelscéal na seachtaine seo go bhfuil iarratas le haghaidh naíscoil lán-aimseartha i nDoire diúltaithe ag an Aire Oideachais, John O’Dowd.

Tá naíscoil páirt-aimseartha lonnaithe i nGaelscoil na Daróige i mBaile Mhic Robhartaigh faoi láthair ach níl sé ar chomhchéim le naíscoileanna Béarla sa cheantar dar le príomhoide na Gaelscoile, Oisín Mac Eochaidh.

Bíonn Naíscoil Mhaol Íosa ar oscailt go dtí 12.00in ach bíonn na naíscoileanna eile ar oscailt go dtí 2.00in. Deir sé chomh maith go bhfaigheann na páistí sna naíscoileanna Béarla béile te saor in áisce (má tá siad i dteideal ceann a fháil), rud nach bhfuil ar fáil sa naíscoil Ghaeilge, agus gur fiú gach páiste ar an naíscoil Béarla thart ar £1,000 breise don bhuiséad ná a mhacasamháil sa naíscoil pháirt-aimseartha.

Níor ghlac an tAire O’Dowd leis an iarratas áfach. Dúirt sé gur féidir leis an soláthar réamhscolaíochta sa cheantar freastal a dhéanamh ar an éileamh atá ann. Mhaígh an Roinn chomh maith go bhfuil beagnach leath na spáis sna naíscoileanna Gaeilge sa cheantar follamh.

Cháin Mark H Durkan ón SDLP an cinneadh.

“Ó bunaíodh é, tá áit bainte amach ag Gaelscoil na Daróige i gcroílár an phobail i mBaile Mhic Robhartaigh agus tá an-díomá orm go bhfuil John O’Dowd ó Shinn Féin ag diúltú naíolann sa scoil a  fhorbairt.”

I measc na n-alt eile atá againn an tseachtain seo ná tuairisc ó Ghaelscoil Chloch na Coillte le Conchubar Ó Liatháin, comparáid idir an méid oibre áitiúil a dhéanann teachtaí dála in Éirinn agus feisirí parlaiminte sa chuid eile den Eoraip agus alt ó Eoghan Ó Néill a deir gur cheart duais Nobel Barack Obama a bhronnadh ar Bradley Manning.

 Irish Language Nursery refused by Sinn Féin minister

Colm Ó Broin

This week’s Gaelscéal reports that Education Minister John O’Dowd has rejected an application for a full-time Irish language pre-school in Ballymagroarty in Derry.

A part-time pre-school is located in the grounds of Gaelscoil na Daróige primary school but it doesn’t have the same status as English language pre-schools in the area, according to principal Oisín Mac Eochaidh. Naíscoil Mhaol Íosa is open until 12pm but other pre-schools can stay open for a further two hours. He also says that children in the full-time pre-schools can get a free hot meal a day if they are entitled to one, and that full-time pre-schools get about £1,000 extra in funding per child than their part-time equivalent.

John O’Dowd has rejected the application however.

“I am fully committed to encouraging and facilitating the development of Irish-medium education, including in the pre-school sector.  Parents can choose to educate their children through the medium of Irish and I am confident that the Irish-medium pre-school provision in the area can meet their needs.”

The Department also stated that almost half the spaces in Irish language pre-schools in the area have not been filled.

Mark H Durkan of the SDLP has condemned the decision.

“Since its establishment, Gaelscoil na Daróige has become an integral part of the Ballymagroarty community and this decision by Sinn Fein’s John O’Dowd to refuse to develop a nursery unit at the school is extremely disappointing.”

Among the other stories this week is a report by Concubhar Ó Liatháin on the Irish language primary school in Clonakilty, Co Cork, a feature on the amount of local ‘parish pump’ work done by TDs in Ireland compared to parliamentarians in other parts of Europe and an article by Eoghan Ó Néill which argues that Barack Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize should be given to Bradley Manning.

  • Drumlins Rock

    if almost half exisitng spaces in the area are empty why should the minister approve more?

  • DoppiaVu

    Ciaran

    I’ve found your previous posts quite interesting. However, this one’s a bit odd.

    The implication seems to be that you expect SF should always make decisions in favour of Irish Nationalist culture, regardless of whether the decision is right or wrong.

    So is it also acceptable that PUL politicians never speak out against Orange marches, regardless of the rights and wrongs?

  • Mister_Joe

    DR,

    I may be wrong but I don’t think it’s about more spaces. Rather asking for more money to keep an existing facility open for longer hours.
    Still, the Minister is expected to ensure that money is spent to the best advantage. And that large number of unused spaces is something that someone should care about. Although pre-schools should be close to where parents are congregated, some consolidation would seem to be in order.

  • Johnot

    DR and DV,
    you are indeed, perhaps deliberately, missing the point. parents in the area have a choice between full-time nursery places at the English school or part-time places at the Irish school. Not a fair choice or a strategy to promote Irish Medium Education which the assembly has under the relevant European Charter and agreements. Also it means that the parents who enrol at the ‘naíscoil’ are forced to make sacrifices just for choosing Irish Medium for the children. Fair play to them for doing so, but why should they be any different to their neighbours that choose English.

  • Drumlins Rock

    John, its your good self who is missing the point, according to the minister the parents in that area who choose to educate their pre-school children in Irish already have more than enough spaces available, in fact funding additional spaces could well undermine the viability of the existing provision.

  • Ciarán Dunbar

    Update :

    The following statement has come through from parents involved with the nursery.

    “Tá naíscoil lánGhaeilge pháirtaimseartha i mBaile Mhig Rabhartaigh faoi láthair agus ba mhaith linn tuismitheoirí a chur ar a suaimhneas go leanfaidh seo ar aghaidh ó 9rn go meán-lae gach lá mar is ghnáth.

    “Sheol Gaelscoil na Daróige isteach a moladh forbartha leis an soláthar a mhéadú ó pháirtaimseartha go lánaimseartha mar is amhlaidh leis na naíscoileanna Béarla sa cheantar.

    “Dhéanfaí rogha réadúil agus cothrom den ghaelscolaíocht ansin, a mheallfadh isteach teaghlaigh úra agus a chuirfeadh le fás dár bpobal teangaidh.

    “Ba cheart naíscolaíocht lánaimseartha, lán-mhaoinithe bheith ar fail sa cheantar do thuismitheoirí ár naíscoile mar atá ar fail dá gcomharsain trí Bhéarla.

    “Tá díomá orainn nach dtacaíonn an Roinn Oideachais lenár spriocanna fá láthair agus gur theip orthu, dar linn, na dualgais agus na freagrachtaí s’aici faoi reachtaíocht Eorpach um teanga mionlaigh a chomhlánú.

    “Athosclófar an naíscoil mar is ghnáth agus leanfaimid lenár streachailt ar son cothrom na féinne do na Gaeil i mBaile Mhig Rabhartaigh.”

  • SDLP supporter

    Níl eolas agam ar na fíricí sa chás seo, ach mar duine nach bhfuil báiúil ar chor ar bith do Shinn Féin, caithfidh me admháil go ginearálta go bhfuil cuma ciallmhar ar eachtrai John O’Dowd agus an méid a deireann sé. Chomh fada agus is eol dom níl stair ar bith ag Mark Durkan óg go bhfuil suim ar leith aige sa Ghaeilge. Caithfidh sé é fein a chosaint in éadan brabúsaiocht.

  • DoppiaVu

    Johnot

    As DR states, it’s you that’s missing the point.

    I’m not questioning the rights or wrongs of the decision that has been made. I don’t claim to know enough about the topic to do so.

    I’m questioning the underlying message of the piece. Which was not so much that it was bad that a government minister should do something deemed to be anti-Irish language; but more that it was bad that an SF minister should do so.

  • Johnot

    DR and DV, you betray your ignorance of the area. the existing empty spaces in irish nurseries refered to are across town. £14 daily taxi return is the cheapest option for parents in ballymagroarty opting for Irish medium nursery.the full-time english nursery is a walk across the street. the local gaelscoil’s freeschool meals rate is 64%, a reflection of the economic situation of the estate. refering to the other nurseries across town as being in the area is just a convenient excuse.

  • Johnot

    *correction- ”parents in ballymagroarty opting for fulltime Irish medium nursery”

  • Johnot

    apologies DV, ive re-read ur last post and see the point u r making. on that issue i didnt necessarily read that underlying message in the piece myself. however i think it is a good question for debate as to whether ministers should act according to the stance they were elected on as MLAs or when they become ministers they must simply become like senior civil servants managing Tory budget and cuts from london without allowing for the political programme/ideology on which they were first elected.

  • Drumlins Rock

    John, yes like 99% of the readers I have complete ignorance of the area, thank you for the extra information, I googled the site, can you tell me where the other IL pre-schools are?
    According to wikipedia there was already history with SF regarding the funding of the Primary School by Catriona, is there another story here we aren’t getting? Or is it simple penny pinching?