Wednesday, 19 December 2007
Ciarán Cannon (Progressive Democrats)
I thank the Minister of State, Deputy Carey, for agreeing to take this matter on behalf of the Minister, Deputy Hanafin. I will dispense with the usual preamble because the Minister is more than aware of the issues surrounding Seamount College in Kinvara. I thank her for her commitment in May to provide a second co-educational school in Kinvara with the proviso that this would take place only if the Sisters of Mercy agreed to take an intake of students in September 2007. The sisters very kindly did so. The sisters may continue to do so if they see serious progress in the development of a new school. My concern and that of others is that unless the sisters see tangible progress on the provision of a new school in the very near future they may not be willing to take an intake of students next September.
I understand comprehensive and in-depth research carried out both by a local group and by departmental officials concludes there is a very real need for a new second level facility to serve south Galway in the near future. Kinvara has a long tradition of providing a very high standard of second level education. Geographically it is very well placed to serve the south Galway region. A site has been identified by the local community and preliminary agreement has been reached on its acquisition. I respectfully ask the Minister to liaise with her officials to begin immediately the process of providing a new school so that it will be patently obvious to all, including the Sisters of Mercy, that a new second level school will be in place in Kinvara by 2012.