A development proposal for the establishment of an Irish medium unit at St Brigid’s College, Londonderry, has been turned down.
Education Minister Peter Weir said: “In reaching this decision I am mindful of my statutory duties towards Irish medium education, and am concerned at the detrimental impact such a proposal would have on existing Irish medium provision at Gaelcholaiste Dhoire which would threaten the long term sustainability of the school.
“Effective Area Planning of Irish medium provision requires development proposals to be brought forward in a co-ordinated and strategic manner that take full account of all relevant considerations. Unfortunately this has not happened in this instance, with the resultant fragmented approach to the planning of Irish medium provision in the area.”
In conclusion the minister said: “While I recognise there is potential for growth in the sector, a robust case must be presented, producing a sustainable and viable solution for the provision of post-primary Irish medium education to children in Londonderry and the surrounding area. This area solution should be consistent with strategic priorities for action set out in the draft EA Area Plan for 2017-2020 ‘Providing Pathways’ which is open for public consultation until 12 December 2016.”