Communities to protest Council meeting

Communities affected by the proposed merger of two secondary schools in the county are to protest outside the outside Friday's meeting of Cavan County Council.

Demonstrators will march on Cavan Courthouse in expression of their opposition to Cavan-Monaghan ETD's plans to shut St Bricins in Belturbet and St Mogues in Bawnboy in favour of building a new €15 million school in neighbouring Ballyconnell.

Several members of Cavan County Council serve as members of the Board of CMETB, who unanimously supported the plan when unveiled to them at a meeting at the Slieve Russell Hotel towards the end of last month.

The planned protest will take place at 1pm, and follows a significant turnout at a public rally in Bawnboy on Monday last where a huge representation from both towns, including elected members, all voiced concern in relation to the CMETB's proposal and the impact it will have.

The meeting of elected members will begin in the Council Chamber at 2pm.


The head of CMETB has meanwhile has firmly stated that commitment from the Department of Education “is in place” on plans to merge two local secondary schools.

His comments come despite officials claiming no contact has been made regarding the two school merger plan been made to date.

“The Department will consider this proposal when received and it will revert to the ETB with a decision in the matter,” a spokesperson at the Department told The Anglo-Celt this week of plans to amalgamate St Bricins in Belturbet and St Mogues in Bawnboy. In their plans CMETB say, will be a new €15 million state-of-the-art school built in neighbouring Ballyconnell, a site for which is yet to be identified.

Any such school amalgamation is ultimately subject to the approval of the Minister, and the spokesperson added: “Any proposed changes involves extensive negotiations at local level and must be well planned and managed in a manner that accommodates the interests of students, parents, teachers, local communities and contributes to an inclusive education system.”

Mr Kearney again assured that confirmation has been received.

“The Department were communicated with after the meeting, but officialdom is kicking in here and it takes time for it to run its course.”


Mr Kearney also sought to clarify numbers issued by CMETB suggesting the new school in Ballyconnell would help halt the drain of some “120 students” from the area to other schools.

“That figure is actually around 300. The 120 is for the Belturbet area specifically.”

He added that CMETB remains committed to the communities of both Belturbet and Bawnboy, and that the existing CMETB properties, once vacated, will continue to be utilised for a range of education and training services for adults, youth and community.