Lochside Garage

Row over Lisnaskea school may go legal


Bunscoil An Traonaigh

LEGAL action may be taken over the delay in relocating the county’s only Irish language school to a more suitable campus for the children. 
As reported by the Herald earlier this summer, Bunscoil an Traonaigh in Lisnaskea is currently operating out of temporary accommodation not suitable its needs, with classes even having to be held in its cafeteria. 
It was agreed two years ago the growing primary school could move to the old Lisnaskea High School, a site it was to share with the South East Fermanagh Foundation (SEFF). 
With no signs of the move happening any time soon, a parent has now threatened to take a High Court challenge against the Department of Education, which has a legal obligation to facilitate Irish language education. 
Investigative website The Detail, which revealed the parent’s legal intentions, made a freedom of information request on correspondence regarding the bunscoil’s agreed move. This correspondence included details of delays have been out fo the Department’s control, as well as the views of DUP’s Peter Weir, who replaced Sinn Fein’s John O’Dowd as Education Minister, who first gave the green light for the bunscoil’s move.
It showed before becoming minister Mr Weir was critical of the deiscion to allow the bunscoil to use the old highschool, and after he became minister he made efforts to find a different site for the bunscoil. 
An alternative site was found at the Knocks, on a country road, but the bunscoil saw this as a backwards step and too isolated. 
The Detail said correspondence showed victims’ group SEFF had expected to be granted use of the entire high school and was critical of the plan for it to share the site. 
In a letter to SEFF’s Kenny Donaldson, Mr Weir said he’d tried to find another site for the school but the old highschool site remained the best option. He said due to the Departments “legal duties” he had “no other option but to allocate a portion of the site to Bunscoil an Traonaigh.” 


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