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All options to keep Mon open must be explored - O’Brien

13 February, 2014 - by Jonathan O'Brien TD

Jonathan O’Brien TD has expressed his grave concern at the news that the North Mon Primary School may be to close, and called on the Edmund Rice Schools Trust to explore all options, in order to keep the school open.

“Everyone in Cork, and even further afield, knows the contribution the Mon has made to Cork City, and in particular the Northside. As a past pupil, I know well myself the value of the school. Not only in producing well known past pupils of the calibre of Seán Óg Ó hAilpín, Rory Gallagher, Tomas MacCurtain, and many more, but in providing an Education of the very highest standard to tens of thousands of working class boys over generations. In recent years the school has also become a welcoming home to the new Irish as well.”

“The news that has emerged in recent weeks, that the Edmund Rice Schools Trust intends to close the school, came as a tremendous shock to the staff, to the boys, and to their families.”

“It has been presented as a fait d’accomplit, despite no prior consultation with the community or staff whatsoever, and I am very disappointed at the approach of the ERST.”

“I believe that they have failed to even consider the particular role of the school in the community, the standard of the education provided, and its open enrolment policies and the inclusive approach to new Irish and minority communities. They are proposing to throw away 200 years of tradition in high quality education for a disadvantaged area. It is very clear that there are huge problems with the proposal to move the boys to St. Vincents, in particular, the fitness of facilities in St Vincent’s to accommodate them, and it is grossly unfair on the boys.”

“I am calling on ERST to work with the staff, and with the Local community, to consider alternative arrangements and proposals to ensure the Mon is not closed, I will provide what assistance I can and I am calling on the Bishop of Cork and Ross to intervene to protect the Mon. All options must be explored, to preserve the contribution of the Mon to the life of Cork’s Northside.”

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