The Aitheantas campaign applauds the opening of Gaelscoil na Mí in Ashbourne, Co. Meath - the first Irish-medium primary school to open with recognition from the Department of Education and Skills in three years - at 12.00 midday this Thursday, 01 September 2011.
Gaelscoil na Mí is a multi-denominational, all-Irish primary school under the patronage of Foras Pátrúnachta na Scoileanna Lán-Ghaeilge (An Foras Pátrúnachta) with full Departmental recognition.
Four Irish-language organisations - Comhluadar, Conradh na Gaeilge, Foras Pátrúnachta na Scoileanna Lán-Ghaeilge and Glór na nGael - came together last year under the joint umbrella-campaign Aitheantas to lobby for the recognition of Irish-medium schools, and in particular to support the parents that founded Gaelscoil Ráth Tó in Co. Meath when the all-Irish primary school was refused recognition in 2010.
Julian de Spáinn, General Secretary of Conradh na Gaeilge says: "The opening of Gaelscoil na Mí is a cause for great celebration, not only for Aitheantas and everyone who supported the parents of Gaelscoil Ráth Tó when the local school was refused recognition last year, but for the Irish-speaking community as a whole.
"Irish-medium education has been a pillar of support for the language as it has continued to go from strength to strength in the community in the last 20 years, and the Department of Education and Skills are to be commended for recognising the importance of the Irish language in this part of Co. Meath by granting Gaelscoil na Mí full recognition this year."
Until a permanent site is obtained by the Department of Education and Skills for the school, Gaelscoil na Mí will open on a temporary site by the Donaghmore GAA Clubhouse in Ashbourne, Co. Meath, on the first day of the academic term this year, accommodating students from Ashbourne, Rathoath and surrounding areas.
Feargal Ó Cuilinn, Director of Comhluadar says: "The parents of Ratoath fought passionately for their right to give their children an all-Irish education when Gaelscoil Ráth Tó was refused official recognition, and the fruit of their labour can be seen this week in the opening of Gaelscoil na Mí in the area. The Department of Education and Skills should address the national demand for all-Irish education, and ensure that the right of every parent to educate their child through Irish is upheld, by including the provision of Irish-medium education in the criteria used when selecting areas for new schools in the future."
Julian de Spáinn,
General Secretary, Conradh na Gaeilge.
+353 (0)1 4757401 / +353 (0)86 8142757
Feargal Ó Cuilinn,
+353 (0)1 4789191 / +353 (0)87 2908391
Aitheantas means recognition in Irish and the campaign was established in 2010 by four national Irish-language organisations - Comhluadar, Conradh na Gaeilge, Glór na nGael and An Foras Pátrúnachta - to support the parents of Gaelscoil Ráth Tó in Ratoath, Co. Meath when they were looking for recognition for the school; and to address the national demand for all-Irish education by urging the Department of Education and Skills to include the provision of Irish-medium education in the criteria used when selecting areas for new schools. www.aitheantas.com
Conradh na Gaeilge is the democratic forum for the Irish-speaking community working to promote the language. There are over 200 branches of Conradh na Gaeilge and since its foundation in 1893, members of the Conradh have been actively promoting Irish in every aspect of life in Ireland and especially its use in their own areas. Conraitheoirí are at the forefront of campaigns to secure and strengthen the rights of the Irish language community. It is also possible to register as an individual member of the Conradh. Conradh na Gaeilge offers a range of courses for language learners in Galway, Dublin and various other centres around the country throughout the year as well. www.cnag.ie
Foras Pátrúnachta na Scoileanna LánGhaeilge (An Foras Pátrúnachta) is a national patronage system for all-Irish primary and secondary schools and functions as a patron, manager and educational organisation. It was founded in 1993 so that new Gaelscoileanna opening in the coming years would have another choice with regard to patronage. The mission of An Foras Pátrúnachta focuses on the development of the provision of Irish Medium Education with a choice of religious ethos, and its patronage is available to schools of any religious denomination and to interdenominational and multi-denominational schools. 58 primary schools and 3 post primary schools are currently under its patronage. www.foras.ie
Comhluadar was founded in 1993 to support parents who want to speak Irish with their children. Comhluadar works on an all-island basis as the primary organisation promoting the transmission of the Irish language from generation to generation and are a united voice in supporting the rights of families to public services in Irish. Parents have the opportunity to meet other people in their area who are rearing families through Irish through Comhluadar, and parents and children are invited to a wide range of sociable and eductional events organised by Comhluadar every month. www.comhluadar.ie
Glór na nGael's vision is to develop people's ability and awareness of the language, so as they will be able to use it in every area of life, through a range of competitions between communities with partners local groups across the country in the promotion of the Irish language. Every year Glór na nGael award more than €150,000 worth of prizes to committees from around the country through the concept of a public competition, and Glór na nGael's evaluation process is the equivalent of a language-planning framework, the only language-planning system operating in Ireland. www.glornangael.ie