Thursday, 12 June 1975
Dáil Eireann Debate
Mr. J. Lynch: asked the Minister for Education if he is aware of the acute shortage of secondary school places for boys and girls in the Lough parish area of Cork city; and if he will indicate the proposals he has to provide the necessary accommodation.
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Education (Mr. Bruton): There appears to be no problem in relation to the question of accommodation for girl pupils of this area. The matter of immediate additional accommodation for boys has not been raised at the Cork Advisory Council but it is at present being investigated by the Department with a view to ensuring that satisfactory provision will be available for all pupils in the forthcoming school year 1975-76.
Mr. J. Lynch: asked the Minister for Education if he is aware that it is now impossible for boys in the Ballinlough and Blackrock parishes of Cork city to find secondary school places in their own area; and, as other city schools are unable to accept them, if he will indicate the plans he has for the provision of the necessary accommodation.
Mr. Bruton: The Douglas Road Community School has been authorised to provide whatever temporary accommodation will be needed to take extra pupils next September from the  Ballinlough/Blackrock area. The school is also being extended to provide overall accommodation for 800.
The Cork Corporation have reserved a site in the Mahon Peninsula for an additional second-level school. The question of the timing of the provision of this additional school is being examined in my Department at present.
Mr. Healy: Is the Parliamentary Secretary aware that there is a great deal of disquiet and anxiety amongst the parents in this part of the city of Cork regarding the possibility of getting accommodation for boys in secondary schools? Would he also say when he would visualise construction would start on the school which he says is for 800, I take it he means boys, in that area?
Mr. Bruton: Temporary accommodation will be made available at the Douglas Road Community School to take any excess boys from the beginning of the next academic year. As to permanent accommodation at the Douglas Road Community School, I am informed that it is projected that this should be available from 1st September, 1977.
Mr. Healy: The Parliamentary Secretary mentioned in his original reply a school for 800 pupils, not the Douglas Road Community School but another school. I want to know how many pupils will it contain, and when——
Mr. Healy: The Douglas Road school is already there and accommodates only 500, and this is an additional 300, but there is another school, we understand, being erected in the Ballyphehane-Togher district.
Mr. Healy: No. Obviously the Parliamentary Secretary does not understand that the Mahon Peninsula is some distance away. It has only been acquired by the corporation and it could be four or five years before that school would be in operation.
Mr. Bruton: I can give the Deputy information about the Ballyphehane-Togher school. Proposals for 600 places at Ballyphehane-Togher are being considered, but I am not in a position to give the exact time of the provision of those places there.
Mr. J. Lynch: Unfortunately, I was not present when the original reply was given to the question I put down three or four weeks ago; I was engaged at an official function. Could I ask the Parliamentary Secretary whether he could substantiate what the Minister told me on the last occasion when the question of secondary school accommodation in the suburbs of Cork arose, that there would be adequate places for all primary school leavers at secondary school level in the current year?
Mr. Bruton: I said in my original reply that the Douglas Road Community School had been authorised to provide whatever temporary accommodation would be needed to take extra pupils next September from the Ballinlough/Blackrock area.
Mr. J. Lynch: I mean one after the other. But may I put a general question? Is the Parliamentary Secretary aware that Deputies of Cork city, including myself, are receiving repeated representations on behalf of parents of leavers of primary schools in Cork city frantically looking for places in secondary schools, and when we, the representatives, make application to existing secondary schools, we are told there is no space?
Mr. Bruton: I have given what I would regard as reasonably satisfactory answers to both questions put down by the Deputy, but if, having  read those two replies, he is still not satisfied, it is open to him to put down another question or questions.
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