Pictured at the launch of their official campaign for recognition from the Department of Education for Gaelscoil Ráth Tó, Fine Gael Cllr. Regina Doherty urges Minister Mary Coughlan to have her department reconsider our application and provide recognition to Gaelscoil Ráth Tó before the schools opens this September.
The Establishing Committee of Gaelscoil Ráth Tó was set up 20 months ago to pursue the choice of an Irish medium education for the children of Ratoath. We campaigned all during this time for recognition from the department of Education to open in September 2010. Ratoath was short listed to 9 areas nationally that would require a new school in either 2010, 2011 or 2012. In February this year the department refused our application and we were gutted.
It is particularly disappointing that the medium of the Irish-language was not taken into consideration for providing educational choice in Ratoath. Not one new Gaelscoil has been recognised by the Department for the school year beginning September 2010 despite plenty of applications.
Our establishing committee along with the support from Gaelscoileanna, Comhluadar, Glor na Gael and Foras Patrunachta to name but a few are taking the necessary steps to open Gaelscoil Ráth Tó this September 2010 without Departmental recognition.
The backing of the local community has been superb and in particular I would like to thank Aintree Grand National winning jockeys, Barry Geraghty, Paul Carburry, and Robert Power along with Nina Carburry and Ruby Walsh who have been hugely supported of our plight in recent weeks.
We feel we are being forced into making this decision by the Department as there is a lack of Gaelscoileanna places available in neighbouring towns. It is grossly unfair that the people of Ratoath are being deprived of this educational choice and it boils down to a question of language rights for the community.
Tonight we are launching a nationwide campaign for language rights for communities just like Ratoath, we will be contacting and communicating with all forms of media in relation to our story in Ratoath. The last Gaelscoil that was given recognition by the Department of Education was in 2008.
We are asking that the Minister of Education gets her department to reconsider their and give Gaelscoil Ráth Tó the recognition we need before we open our doors this September.
Anybody wishing to register the child to attend Gaelscoil Ráth Tó should contact 087 3328650 or email firstname.lastname@example.org