‘No further discussions’ on schools' merger

“There have been no further discussions with the Department regarding the proposals to amalgamate St Mogue’s College and St Bricin’s College.”

That is the latest and most up to date position as provided by Cavan-Monaghan ETB to the Celt last week.

The statement was issued despite pressure mounting on the educational body to directly address the issue after a proposal was raised at the September monthly meeting of Cavan County Council for the ETB to scrap its controversial plan to replace the two schools with a new build in neighbouring Ballyconnell.

Fianna Fáil’s John Paul Feeley tabled a motion asking CMETB “to reverse their decision to close” St Bricin’s in Belturbet and St Mogue’s in Bawnboy. It had been expected that the motion would be raised when CMETB members met at Monaghan's Garage Theatre last week, but did not appear as the formal request from Cavan County Council had not yet been issued.

As patron of both secondary schools, the ETB has the final say, subject to approval from the Department of Education, on whether to still press ahead with the amalgamation plan, which was first proposed in late November 2018. The then announcement was greeted with strong opposition by groups in both communities affected.

Nothing has progressed and enrolments at the targeted schools have since increased.

A spokesperson for CMETB confirmed that it is “committed to serving the community and providing the best possible support and facilities for quality teaching and learning that maximises the educational opportunities available to our students. CMETB will continue to work with St Mogue’s College and St Bricin’s College to provide the necessary resources to meet the needs of their school communities."