VEC chief asks Dept of Education to extend recognition of Buncrana school

The Department of Education is to be asked to extend the period of recognition for the Irish language secondary school in Buncrana.

It emerged yesterday that the school is facing possible closure, with a number of options being considered by the County Donegal VEC and the Board of Management.

Coláiste Chineál Eoghain was established in Tullyarvan in 2007, with a three year recognition period from the department. In 2010, that was extended by a further three years, with the proviso that the college should be attracting 25 new first year pupils every year. However, this year, only 17 expressions have been received for the new school year starting in September, an the department says the recognition period will not be extended.

At a recent meeting, we understand three options were presented - Incorporating the school into Crana College on a new campus, sending the students to Colaiste Ailigh in Letterkenny or phasing the school out completely.

Those options are being considered, and in the meantime, VEC CEO Shaun Purcell has now confirmed he has written to the department asking that the recogniton period be extended.