Parents and concerned citizens from the Communities of Bawnboy and Belturbet descended on the streets of Cavan Town this afternoon to demonstrate against proposals by the CMETB to merge St Bricin's in Belturbet and St Mogue's in Bawnboy into one new €15M college, to be located in Ballyconnell, by September 2023.
The demonstrators showcased loads of placards to illustrate their outright opposition to the proposal and said it was now time to “shout stop” to the ruination of rural Towns like Belturbet and Bawnboy. There was anger in relation to people from towns with great college facilities telling places like Belturbet and Bawnboy what is good for them.
The people on the demonstration were livid at the fact that there has been no consultation about this proposed merger.
Another man said: “This would not be allowed to happen in rural France!" said one irate protestor. "The French tell their politicians and councillors what they want in their communities – not the other way around like what is happening here.”
Elaine Birkett from Belturbet told The Celt that the merger of St Mogue's and St Bricin's “would have a devastating affect on the communities – we are coming together in a joint effort to take issue with this”.
They are planning a public consultation meeting for Belturbet early in the New Year, "as it is important that members of the communicate their feelings and thoughts on the issue, and outline their ideas”. They will be setting up a facebook page called save our schools.
Brian Brady from Bawnboy was carrying an 'SOS' poster calling for St Mogue's to be saved and he told the Celt: “We don't want to see our school closed. It is a very important part of our community and the children in the future.
“St Mogue's is a great College with great teachers and a great ethos with a high percentage of students progressing onto third level. The parents, the teachers and the students all work well together – it is like a big family”.
He said that a committee will be established to represent all the areas affected by this decision.
“The Government want to close down rural Ireland – garda stations, post offices, banks have all been closed”.