Minister McHugh & Cavan Monaghan ETB ignore the will of the people in closing Belturbet & Bawnboy Second Level Schools – Feeley

Fianna Fáil Councillor, John Paul Feeley has expressed his shock at the announcement by the Chief Executive of Cavan Monaghan ETB that the Minister for Education has approved the development of a new school to result in the closure of St. Bricin’s College, Bawnboy and St. Mogues’s College, Bawnboy.
“I am shocked that the Minister for Education & Skills, Joe McHugh TD has ignored the wishes of the people on the ground in relation to the proposal of Cavan Monaghan ETB to close two schools with resulting devastation for the catchment areas serviced by them. In the Local Election earlier this year, the views of the relevant communities were made clear. Despite clear opposition and the failure of the ETB to engage with the local community the ETB have pressed ahead with this ill-conceived proposal.’
‘Since the election the ETB Committee has effectively been non-existent. It appears that the Chief Executive of the ETB pressed ahead knowing that a newly constituted ETB would not be as favorable to the rushed and unconsidered proposal made by him last year and rammed down the throats of the Board, the staff and the wider community.’
‘Despite thousand of letters and emails and requests from Deputy Brendan Smith, Minister McHugh has been never made himself available to meet the local community groups. Instead he has bowed to the demands of ETB officials who have lost the veneer of democratic legitimacy since the old ETB board ceased to exist last May.’
‘It should be noted that the Ministers approval is to build a school on an unknown site, for which no designs are ready, no planning in place and most importantly no money allocated. This is simply a way for the ETB to avoid doing what it needs to do to invest in the two existing schools. At this stage Cavan Monaghan ETB need to convene and rescind its previous approval of this plan and get on with providing the children of the two catchment areas with the secondary education they deserve.’