Inishowen’s only Irish-language secondary school is to remain open.
It had been announced that Colaiste Chineal Eoghain would close in September due to falling enrolment numbers, leading to a dedicated campaign by parents and the local community to keep it open.
However, on Monday, an extraordinary meeting of Donegal ETB, requested by Inishowen Councillor Rena Donaghey, took place in Letterkenny. This followed an emotionally charged meeting the previous week called by parents to discuss the future of the school.
At the ETB meeting, Colr. Donaghey gave a background to the school situation saying Coláiste Chineál Eoghain was “one of the best small secondary schools in the country, with excellent results, high standards and great potential.”
She subsequently proposed that: “Coláiste Chineál Eoghain remain open, that there will be no mention of closure or scaling down and that a loud and clear message would go out to say the school is ‘Open for Business’ as normal in September”.
It was agreed that the ETB would ask the Department of Education to continue the existing funding. If substantiated issues are found then appropriate action is to be taken and Cllr Donaghey asked that a conscientious effort be made to increase the enrolments in September and in subsequent years.
Strategies are to be put in place to strengthen Coláiste Chineál Eoghain and it was agreed that a survey would be taken from past pupils of the school so that the Board could get a clear picture of the situation. This survey will be carried out by the ETB board and will be anonymous. Cllr Donaghey stressed that it is important that a purpose built three-school complex be progressed.
Colr Donaghey said the decision was a “great day for all.”