Celebrations across the community as new build for Gaelscoil Aodha Rua Dungannon approved

Pictured in 2011, Mona Ui Dhochartaigh cuts the ribbon at the then new Gaelscoil Aodha Rua in Dungannon with her colleague Patricia McAnulty and pupils. Education Minister John O'Dowd has announced a brand new brick built school for Gaelscoil Aodha Rua
Pictured in 2011, Mona Ui Dhochartaigh cuts the ribbon at the then new Gaelscoil Aodha Rua in Dungannon with her colleague Patricia McAnulty and pupils. Education Minister John O'Dowd has announced a brand new brick built school for Gaelscoil Aodha Rua

A major capital investment in Dungannon’s only Irish medium primary school - Gaelscoil Aodha Rua - for a brand new building, will “completely change the landscape” of the school, its Principal has told the TIMES.

Education Minister, John O’Dowd, pledged £40 million to ten schools across the north, with St Peter’s PS in Collegelands also included, for “new state of the art facilities”.

Gaelscoil Aodha Rua Principal, Móna Uí Dhochartaigh, said the entire school community was looking forward to having an enhanced learning area, alongside new dining, sports, library and outdoor play facilities.

“Minister O’Dowd’s announcement of Capital Investment in our new build project marks the beginning of an exciting stage in the development of Gaelscoil Aodha Rua and of Irish Medium Education in our local area”, said Mrs Uí Dhochartaigh. “This investment will completely change the landscape of our school and will offer our pupils the opportunity to learn and to grow in a spacious, modern, custom-built permanent brick building.”

Welcoming the countless messages of support and congratulations from not only parents, pupils and staff, but other schools and organisations from within the wider local community, Móna continued: “Our school is a community school and since our establishment we have had the privilige of working in partnership with a wide range of Irish language, cultural and sporting organisations, all of whom will also benefit from this announcement and from the enhanced facilities, which will continue to be used by the local community after school hours. I pay tribute to our 88 pupils, whose enthusiasm for learning has provided constant encouragement to the school management team to strive towards this day. I thank our parents whole-heartedly for their patience and committment and for believing that this day would actually come and I commend the staff and Board of Governors of the school who have worked tirelessly to bring this dream to fruition. I also pay tribute to those who have played their part in the development of Irish Medium Education in the Dungannon area for many years now and who paved the way towards the success and prosperity that we now enjoy. I am privilged to be part of the community that is Gaelscoil Aodha Rua and I look forward to bringing the new-build project to fruition for the good of our current pupils and for generations of children to come who will receive their education through the medium of Irish in our town. Tá Gaelscoil Aodha Rua ag dul ó neart go neart agus tá todhchaí geal romhainn sna blianta atá le teacht.