East Londonderry MLA Cathal ó hOisín has welcomed news of Education Minister John O’Dowd’s approval for a new Irish-language college in Dungiven.
Mr Ó hOisín said: “This is the culmination of over 20 years work by Gaeligeoirs in the wider County Derry area, and is the most significant step in Irish language education provision ever. The insightful and farseeing proposals from Coiste Choláiste Dhoire, the proposing Committee, show just how viable this might be, with a significant intake from year one.
“Currently over 450 children are going through primary school education in the medium of Irish, in County Derry alone, and this looks likely to expand, and must be catered for.
“It will be the only Irish Medium second level school outside Belfast, an obvious dearth considering there are some 42 in the south. I fully endorse the Ministers approval of the development plan and acknowledge the work done in the IM and EM sectors across the county in recent years, and in particular that at St Patricks, Maghera.
“There will be many challenges in the years ahead, but I’m confident that with the help of the Irish Language Community and the parents of our children that this will prosper and flourish. Ar aghaidh linn.”