19/11/2014 Leitrim Observer

An Foras Pátrúnachta / Press / 19/11/2014 Leitrim Observer

Bernard Dunne coming to Leitrim to support plans for second level gaelscoil

The Dublin Dynamo, champion boxer and celebrity presenter of Bród Club (RTÉ) Bernard Dunne will address a public meeting in the Glens Centre, Manorhamilton at 7.30pm on Thursday, 20th November in support of plans to open Coláiste Loch Gile, an Irish medium secondary school servicing Leitrim, Sligo and South Donegal.

Parents and primary school pupils in 4th, 5th and 6th class are particularly welcome to attend.

Other speakers being confirmed include Brendan Ó Dufaigh, principal of Coláiste Oriail the 2nd highest transfer to university secondary school in Ulster, Pádraig Ó Baoill: Founding committee member and History teacher in Gaelcholáiste an Eachréidh (Loch Réidh) and Katriona Kerrigan, a past-pupil of an Irish medium secondary school and teacher in Gaelscoil Chnoc na Ré, Sligo.

It is envisaged that the Irish medium secondary school, Coláiste Loch Gile, will commence in September 2015.

Pupils from all lingustic and cultural backgrounds will be most welcome at this new school which will serve pupils who presently attend English-medium schools in the Northwest as well as those attending Gaelscoil Chnoc na Ré in Sligo, Gaelscoil Chluainín in Manorhamilton, Gaelscoil Liatroma in Carrick in Co. Leitrim, and Gaelscoil Eirne in Ballyshannon, Co. Donegal.

The benefits of immersion education, and in this case education in Gaelic medium school, where all subjects except English are taught through Irish, has been well documented over the past three decades.

Research by the Department of Education in Northern Ireland shows that pupils of Irish-medium schools attained a higher academic standard than other pupils in the same age group.

Studies here show that pupils of Irish-medium schools achieved levels greater than the national average in reading and writing in both Irish and English.

Further studies have indicated that students in Gaelic medium schools perform as well as if not better in mathematics than their peers in English medium schools.

Data from other European countries shows that bi-lingual children learn further languages with greater ease.

Research also shows that students from Irish medium schools have a greater tolerance of other cultures and are more open to cultural diversity due to the cultural enrichment they experience in these schools.

A similar meeting wil occur on Thursday, November 27th in Dorrian’s Hotel, Ballyshannon at 7.30pm on Thursday, 27 November.

Further Information: Anna Ní Bhroin, Cathaoirleach Coiste Bhunnaithe Coláiste Loch Gile, (087) 0667600 eolas@colaistelochgile.net