Positive political reaction
August 10, 2010
Local politicians, some of whom have been actively involved in lobbying for new schools for Dromintee and Forkhill, have welcomed the announcement that the schools are to get new premises.
Councillor Anthony Flynn was involved in the campaigns of both schools and wholeheartedly welcomed this news.
“I, along with my fellow Councillor Packie McDonald, have long been involved in the campaign to get these schools upgraded and I take this opportunity to congratulate all associated with Dromintee and Forkhill schools for their successful and professional applications which have resulted in what I believe will be an excellent new facility,” Councillor Flynn said.
SDLP MLA for Newry and Armagh and Party spokesperson on Education, Dominic Bradley, also welcomed the announcement that funding has been released for the building of new schools.
“Since my election I have strongly supported the case for a new build for our locals schools by keeping constant pressure on the Minister of Education and the Minister of Finance to provide the money needed.
“The Minister of Education has said that it is the quality of teaching and learning that is important not the buildings in which the children are taught, but I firmly believe that our children and teachers have the right to be taught and teach in facilities which suit the 21st century. I have seen on occasions the huge boost a new school gives to teachers, pupils, and the community as a whole. Our children and teachers deserve the best possible facilities for teaching and learning,” Mr Bradley said.
Mr Bradley said he will continue lobbying on behalf of the schools that have not been successful in their bids for funding.
“It is a great disappointment for those schools which have not been included in the announcement that they have not got funding. I will continue to lobby on their behalf to help ensure that funding is made available for them in the future.”
Sinn Féin MLA Mickey Brady congratulated the successful schools but voiced his disappointment that St. Clare’s Primary School in Newry was not among those listed for improvements.
Mr Brady said St. Clare’s did not make the list due to a ‘series of outstanding issues’ in the bid relating to its proposed redevelopment.
“I met with Minister Ruane to discuss these outstanding issues and to continue to lobby her on behalf of St Clare’s,” Mr Brady said.
“Sinn Féin supports the Principal, staff and parents of St Clare’s and appreciates the great work that is being done in the school. We will continue to work with St Clare’s and our colleagues in the Department of Education to ensure that the best possible long term solution is found for all of those involved with the school.”