Fitzgerald stated: “I am delighted that Government has agreed to fund two new 8 classroom primary schools will be built; one to be located in the Newcastle, Rathcoole, Saggart catchment area scheduled to open in 2020 and another in Clondalkin with a projected open date of 2021.
“A new 1,000 pupil post-primary school has also been sanctioned for the Citywest/Saggart area in order to meet the demand for school places in the Tallaght, Newcastle and Rathcoole planning area. This is due to open in 2020 and follows on the back of a parent-led campaign to have a dedicated post-primary school for the Citywest area.
“For each of the new schools announced, an online process will be run to establish parental preference for the patronage of that school.”
Fitzgerald highlighted the rationale behind the establishment of these new schools, saying: "We are fortunate in Ireland to have a growing population and with the vibrant communities I am privileged to represent so it is no surprise to me that people want to settle in Saggart, Newcastle, Rathcoole and Clondalkin.
"Census 2016 identified Saggart as the country’s fastest growing town, having experienced a population growth of 46.1% between 2011 and 2016. The town with the second largest percentage increase was Rathcoole, who saw their population rise 27.2% in the same period.
"However, this growth naturally puts pressure on our public services. Today’s decision is about preparing for the future and making sure our children get the best start in life through receiving the best education possible.
“I also welcome that the requirement for all new schools will be kept under on-going review by the Department of Education and will have regard to the impact of the increased rollout of housing provision to meet balanced regional development as outlined in Project Ireland 2040.”
The announcement of these three new schools continues Fine Gael’s strong record of improving school buildings and increasing placements.
Fitzgerald explained: “Since entering Government, Fine Gael has prioritised investing in education. Since 2011, we have created 122,000 new and replacement school places. We are now creating more school places than at any other period in the history of the State. In 2010, some 9,000 school places were created. Contrast this with 2017, when approximately 18,800 places were built.
She continued: “The establishment of these new schools is in addition to the School Building Capital Programme. The Capital Programme delivered new and improved facilities for existing schools such as St. Andrew’s NS in Lucan, St. Finian’s NS in Newcastle, and St. Mary’s NS in Saggart. It also funded extensions and upgrades to Griffeen, Lucan East and Esker Educate Together, Holy Family NS in Rathcoole, Scoil Aine in Clondalkin and Pobalscoil Iosolde in Palmerstown.
“As part of the current 2016- 2021 Capital Programme, new building projects are due for St. Thomas JNS, Scoil Aine NS, Divine Mercy Junior and Senior NS, St. Joseph’s College and Lucan Community College in Lucan. In Clondalkin, a Campas Lán Ghaelach will be created with new buildings for Gaelscoil Chluain Dolcáin and Gaelscoil na Camóige co-located with Coláiste Chilliain and in Rathcoole the long awaited extension of Holy Family Community School will take place. All these projects are currently in Stage 2(b) of the planning process and I continue to liaise with my colleague, Minister Richard Bruton and the school Principals, to ensure their delivery.”