Education Minister, John O’Dowd, has officially opened Gaelcholáiste Dhoire, Dungiven, the North’s second post primary Irish Medium school.
Speaking at the event, the Minister said: “I am delighted to be here to officially open Gaelcholáiste Dhoire. The Irish language is an integral part of our rich and shared heritage and I take great pride in being part of a sector that continues to grow and thrive educationally, socially and economically.”
Continuing the Minister said: “I have no doubt about the benefits that Irish medium education offers our children and I am committed to protecting, enhancing and promoting our language and cultural heritage for future generations.
“I always enjoy visiting schools and meeting with the staff, parents and pupils and I want to take this opportunity to congratulate all those who have worked hard over the last number of years to establish this college. Strong community connections play an integral part in creating any school environment and it is through your determination and dedication that more children of the Derry area can explore and learn through the medium of Irish language.”
In conclusion the Minister commended Principal Diarmaid Ua Bruadair, the governors led by Niall O’Kane and everyone connected with the school for their hard-work and determination in delivering a school which will benefit everyone in the Derry area.
Principal Diarmaid Ua Bruadair said: “The courageous decision that Minister O’Dowd took to approve the development proposal for Gaelcholáiste Dhoire has meant that children in Irish Medium schools in Derry and Tyrone can now progress to a post-primary provision tailored to their needs. Our young people have flourished in Gaelcholáiste Dhoire and with enrolment figures more than doubling for September 2016 it is clear that the minister’s confidence has been well placed and that there is a huge demand for IM education in the area.
“Ó dhearcáin bheaga a fhásann an Dáir! From small acorns grows the mighty Oak! The Irish Language, Gaelic games and culture is in the DNA of County Derry so it is indeed a proud day when the Oak County celebrates the opening of its very own Gaelcholáiste.”
The school is situated in Dungiven Castle which is rented from Glenshane Community Development Limited. Rent is paid by the Education Authority in accordance with the Rentals Circular 2012/01 “Rentals at Grant-Aided Schools”.