Fine Gael Senator John McGahon has called on the Department of Education to investigate the possibility of bringing a new primary level school to the parish of Haggardstown and Blackrock.
The 2016 Census showed the population of Haggardstown, including the village of Blackrock, to be 6,919.
Speaking in the Seanad on Tuesday, Senator McGahon urged Education Minister Norma Foley to work with the various stakeholders and survey parents in the area to determine what extra educational resources could be brought to the area.
“Now would be an excellent time to sit down with planners, staff in Louth County Council and the Department’s unit to make sure the proper zoning is there in the first place for new school buildings in the next six to seven years,” he said.
“We should survey parents to ask them what type of school they would like in their community – whether it’s going to an Educate Together school, national school or indeed a church run school.”
Currently, the community is served by St Oliver Plunketts National School in Blackrock which had 444 enrolled pupils in the 2019/20 academic year and nearby St Francis National School with 289 pupils, as well as St Fursey’s National School in Haggardstown with 248 pupils as of last year. In total, the three schools had 981 pupils enrolled in the last school year.
“This was done very successfully three years ago in Faughart where parents decided to transfer the national school over to the LMETB,” he added.
Faughart Community National School opened its doors in August 2018, under the patronage of the Louth Meath Education and Training Board, on the site of the former Scoil Naisiunta Bhríghde. The new school is a multi–denominational, co–educational primary school which accepts students of all faiths and of none.