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Education Minister Caitríona Ruane visits Rathlin primary school

16 December, 2009 - by Caitríona Ruane

Education Minister, Caitríona Ruane, has said St Mary’s Primary School on Rathlin Island has a unique place in education.

The Minister was speaking during her first visit to the school when she met the Principal, Helen O’Halloran, and the six pupils. The Minister said: “Small rural schools are usually at the heart of their community. St Mary’s Primary School provides a vital service to help sustain the Rathlin community and provide a well rounded education for the children. It is the only inhabited island off the north coast of Ireland and it is important that government encourages and supports key services such as education.

“I wanted to visit St Mary’s to see the work of the Principal and Board of Governors and introduce the four children to the Primary Languages and Sports Programmes. I am grateful to the GAA and Pobal an Chaistil in Ballycastle for their support in these initiatives.”

The Minister was accompanied on the visit by Chairperson of Moyle District Council, Councillor Cara McShane, Provincial Director of Ulster GAA Danny Murphy, GAA coach Roisin Keenan and the Gaelic Language Development Officer for North Antrim Andrew Mac Uait. The pupils at St Mary’s Primary School will be able to benefit from the Primary Sports Programme and Primary Languages Programme introduced by the Minister through visits to the island by tutors and coaches.

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