Calls for new secondary school to be built in Sixmilebridge

Fianna Fáil TD Cathal Crowe.

THERE have been calls for the provision of a new secondary school for second level students living on the Limerick-Clare border.

Clare Fianna Fáil TD Cathal Crowe made the call to alleviate pressure already being felt by schools in the area, with parents struggling to secure a secondary school place for their children.

Deputy Crowe has asked Education Minister Norma Foley and Department of Education officials to do an analysis of school enrolment in the South Clare area, with the view to opening a new secondary school in Sixmilebridge.

In a statement to the Limerick Post, Mr Crowe said that “by my own calculations, I reckon there are upwards of 3,000 pupils currently enrolled in primary schools south of Newmarket-on-Fergus right down to the Clare border area and when these kids complete their eight years of primary school, they typically try to enrol in the two
secondary schools in Shannon, St Joseph’s in Tulla and many closer to the Limerick border – such as in Meelick, Cratloe, Parteen, and Clonlara – apply for schools in Limerick City.”

“I know all too well from my 14 years teaching in Parteen NS, the challenges that sixth class pupils have in terms of enrolling in their secondary school of choice.

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The County Clare TD claimed that “Sixmilebridge is no longer a village – it’s now a thriving town with a growing population, and there are many towns in Clare of smaller size which already have a secondary school”.

“Whilst there has always been a difficulty in children enrolling in Limerick City schools, in recent years similar problems have been encountered in Clare secondary schools, with schools fully subscribed and many kids left waiting in a queue to see if a place frees up for them.

“Limerick has had two new secondary schools built, but the South Clare area has not – and I think the natural place to locate one would be somewhere near Sixmilebridge,” he concluded.