Derry children “let down by system” as city still has no Irish language secondary school

A Derry mother has made an appeal to the Minister for Education to listen to parents in Derry who are demanding an Irish language secondary school.

Claire McLaughlin’s son Jake is currently attending an Irish language primary school in the city however his mother says Jake, like countless others is not being provided for at all when it comes to progressing to the next level of his education. “Letterkenny has one Irish language primary school and one Irish language secondary school. Inishowen has two Irish language primary schools and one Irish language secondary school, yet between Derry and Strabane there are four primary schools and no meanscoil (secondary school). It’s just absolutely ridiculous,” she said.

“I care about my son’s education yet I feel decisions about his future are being made behind closed doors and the Minister himself can’t even find the time to meet myself and other parents to discuss this. “If I didn’t care about my son’s education I’d be ridiculed but I do. I depend on the staff at his school to teach him because I don’t speak the language myself. Under the present system, when he leaves p7 there is no fully Irish language secondary school in his home city where he can go.”

The local mother continued:

“If we care enough to provide Irish language provision at primary level and there’s also provision at third level, why are our children forgotten about in between? It just makes no sense at all.”

The local mother says she feels let down by the system and by the lack of reponse to her calls for more discussion on the topic.

“We’ve already had meetings cancelled and it feels like we’re knocking on firmly closed doors. I feel like the system here has let my son down. I sat in a meeting four years ago and there’s been absolutely no progress since. Derry needs an Irish language secondary school. There’s absolutely no doubt about it. I believe more people would send their children if one existed,” she added.
A meeting to discuss the need for a meanscoil in Derry is now scheduled to take place in the Maldron Hotel (formerly the Tower) on December 15th at 7:30pm. For further information see the Meanscoil Anois

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