Fermanagh South Tyrone Sinn Féin Sinn Féin -- Building an Ireland of Equals

Discussions around Future of Brollagh Need to Intensify

Published: 10 November, 2014

Sinn Féin MLA Phil Flanagan has said that discussions around the future of St Mary's Brollagh need to intensify to establish a pilot cross-border area learning community as has been requested by the Education Minister John O'Dowd.

The Fermanagh & South Tyrone MLA was speaking after he asked the Minister for an update on meetings that had taken place since his decision to reject CCMS's proposal to close the school.

Mr Flanagan said:

"I am heartened to see that discussions have finally begun to take place involving decision makers on both sides of the border and that representatives from CCMS and WELB have met with Shaun Purcell, the Chief Executive of the Donegal Education & Training Board in recent weeks.

"Many more meetings and more detailed discussions will need to take place in the coming period to ensure that we explore all possible avenues to delivering the ambitious cross-border proposal that has been envisaged.

"This cross-border proposal is a viable option. It now needs the support of the school community, CCMS, WELB and both Education Departments in Ireland to make it a reality and ensure that post-primary education is retained in this area. It is clear that discussions around this issue need to intensify in the near future.

"It is important that these discussions are not solely conducted by those in ivory towers running our education system and that inclusive dialogue is opened up with political and community representatives, members of the board of governors and the North West Education Action Group, which has been instrumental in driving this campaign."

Concluding, Mr Flanagan said:

"The recruitment process has also commenced for a new principal for St Mary's Brollagh and it is important that someone be appointed that will champion this agenda and can lead the school through this challenging process of change."

Notes to Editors:

The Assembly Question & Answer can be accessed in full at http://aims.niassembly.gov.uk/questions/printquestionsummary.aspx?docid=211501