Parents of school children in Wicklow and surrounds have started an important campaign to prevent Gaelscoil Chill Mhantáin being placed at an unsuitable site in Rathnew. Wicklow is the county town of County Wicklow and the capital of the Mid-East Region in Ireland, and is located south of Dublin.

The petition raises important planning issues for the entire education infrastructre in the region and has implications for planning policy throughout Ireland. Campaigners have cited compelling reasons for their cause:

Size of Site at Merrymeeting
- The Department of Education and Skills Guidelines state that a 16 classroom school must be on 3 acres. 
- The Gaelscoil Chill Mhantain site in Merrymeeting is 1.2 acres.
- The Department of Education and Skills have stated that they do not have to comply with their own guidelines on this matter.
- In 1999 the Department of Education bought a site at Crinion Park in Wicklow Town for Gaelscoil Chill     Mhantáin at a cost of €560,000. Outline Planning Permission was granted for a school on this site. This site is larger than the Merrymeeting site but the Department of Education have deemed it too small! The site has remained idle since.
- There simply will not be enough space for children to run and play on the Merrymeeting site.
- It will mean the end of team sports at the school.
- The new combined Rathnew school does not have enough space either. The Gaelscoil site should be allocated to the Rathnew school as a play area, which apparently was the original plan. 
- The site is so small that there is not enough space to provide the bicycle parking required under the planning conditions.

Location of site
- There will be traffic chaos at the schools, both in the morning with 2 opening times and the afternoon with 4 closing times.
- The common entrance to both schools is directly opposite the entrance to the shopping complex. This entrance was not shown on any planning application drawings .There is a high probability of serious accidents at this junction.

Effects on local residents 
- These two 16 classroom are designed between them to accommodate 1000 children into the future. There are housing estates on either side of the Merrymeeting site. Local residents will be seriously hampered in their daily lives.

- The drop off / pick up is on a steep slope. In the past there have been school closures here due to dangerous road conditions.

- The Abbey location is ideal for Gaelscoil Chill Mhantáin. The work that would be required to bring the school building up to modern specifications would be a small fraction of the cost of building a new school at Merrymeeting.

Once built this school infrastructure will be there for generations to come. Hence the importance of the present campaign.

The petition can be signed hereMore info on:

Story by GoPetition