Local TD for Dublin Mid-West, John Curran, has called on the Minister for Education, Joe McHugh, to take immediate action to deal with the shortage of primary school places in the Rathcoole area for September 2019. Deputy Curran was speaking recently during a special debate on the issue, in the Dáil, he said: “There is a significant number of families who live in Rathcoole and who have no school places next September for their children. It is not appropriate that families in Rathcoole would have to send their children to Fortunestown, Newcastle, Saggart or Clondalkin for primary school. That is not an appropriate solution. We must look at extending the existing schools in the area to deal with the current issue for this September. However on account of the rapid population growth in the area a new primary school must be considered for Rathcoole.

“The principal of Holy Family National School, Rathcoole has indicated to me that a significant number of children will not be accommodated this year. Some 117 applications were made to the school which has only been able to accommodate 93 pupils in classrooms with 31 children. “Some 24 pupils have been left to their own devices to find a school place for their children. This is a significant number. At the same time, the Gaelscoil, Scoil Chrónáin, has three additional emergency classrooms being provided in Rathcoole Community Centre.

“The local Primary Schools in Rathcoole have reached capacity and a serious crisis is looming if the Government continue to sit on their hands considering the current housing development in the area and the future planned residential developments. “There is a very significant issue with this year’s enrolment in September. The schools are at capacity and as new families move into the area, they will not have a local school for their children to attend. “The area of Rathcoole, Saggart and Citywest have experienced a rapid growth in population in only a couple of years. On account of this rapid change in demographics it is not so long ago that we had to campaign for the Government to provide second level education in the area. In 2017 the Government had no plans to provide a second level school in the area and by 2018 there was an announcement of a new school in City West. This highlights just how quickly the area is growing and the educational needs of the area are changing.

“I have called on the Minister to re-examine the demographics, to provide enhanced capacity at the existing schools in Rathcoole as a matter of urgency and to consider a new primary school in Rathcoole as soon as possible. The population of Rathcoole will need more than what is provided for in the current plan, which is to provide a single stream school in Fortunestown. A Primary School in Fortunestown is simply too far away from the Rathcoole area. “I will continue to call on the Minister to work with all colleagues to try to address the shortage this year and the longer term goal of providing a new school”, concluded Deputy Curran.