Stair na Scoile

San Earrach 2005, shocraigh beirt thuismitheoir, Ben Reid agus Irene Keogh, iarracht a dhéanamh Gaelscoil a thosú i mBaile Choimín. Cuireadh fógraí thart timpeall an bhaile le cruinniú eolais a fhógairt. Bunaíodh coiste bunaithe na Gaelscoile agus b’shin an tús.
D’osclaíodh Gaelscoil na Lochanna Mí Meán Fomhair 2006 agus táimid ag fás ó shin. Bígí linn!

History

During the spring of 2005 two parents, Ben Reid and Irene Keogh, decided that it was time that Blessington had a Gaelscoil. They placed posters around the town inviting other interested parents to a meeting. A founding committee was formed and the rest is future!
Gaelscoil na Lochanna opened in September 2006 and is going from strength to strength. Bígí linn!

For a full account of the history read on…

In Spring 2005 the founding committee of Gaelscoil na Lochanna was established on the suggestion of a few interested parents:

– Chairman: Ben Reid
– Secretary: Máirín Higgins
– Registration Officer/Assistant Secretary: Patricia Byrne
– Treasurer: Liz Byrne
– PRO: Irene Keogh
– Fundraising: Claire Gowran, Pat Conlon, Assumpta Byrne, Seamus Bannon

A public meeting was held in St Kevin’s hall in June 2005. This was well attended locally and had political support from among others Jimmy Ruttle and Billy Timmins. The meeting was addressed by a member of “Foras Pátrúnachta na Scoileanna Lán-Ghaeilge” and the principal of the Gaelscoil in Naas (which was also interdenominational and is in its infancy, being only three years old). Many parents attended the meeting and a good question and answer session ensued.

In June, a very successful fundraiser in the marquee at the back of the West Wicklow House raised sufficient funds to get the project on a sound financial footing.

In August we held a “Maidin Spraoi” in St Kevin’s Hall. Over 20 families attended. There was a bouncy castle, golf, skittles, face painting, and a general carnival atmosphere – all these activities were for the children (though it was hard to keep certain parents out of the bouncy castle).

Since then we have held several fundraising and social events to maintain adequate funding levels and to give Gaelscoil parents and children a chance to get together.

Recognition by Department of Education

The first major milestone was reached with the submission of our “Application of Intent” to the Department of Education in September 2005. This involved the compilation of a formal statement of our intention to establish a Gaelscoil in Blessington. This was followed in January 2006 by the submission of our “Application for Recognition”, detailing our plans for the school to open in September.

The decision to approve the opening of the Gaelscoil was due in April. Unfortunately the Minister for Education deferred her decision for some time due to concerns about the number of schools within Blessington town. However, the Committee was quick to point out that the Gaelscoil had exceeded required enrolment numbers and would be the first and only opportunity for families in West Wicklow to avail of all-Irish education. On June 9th 2006, the Minister announced official temporary recognition for Gaelscoil na Lochanna. The Committee immediately set to work on final preparations for the September opening.

Gaelscoil na Lochanna opened  on September 1st 2006. The rest as they say is History….