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22 May 2022

BREAKING: Mean Scoil Mhuire Longford gets approval for new 650-pupil school

Meán Scoil Mhuire

Mean Scoil Mhuire in Longford town has been forced to take out a lease on the former Turner's Printing premises in Longford town in order to allow all students return to their desks

Longford's Mean Scoil Mhuire is to see all its capacity issues solved with approval from the Department of Education for the construction of a new school building that will accommodate up to 650 students.

The school has been at capacity for some time and, with the reopening of schools during the pandemic, was forced to find additional space for classrooms via the Temperance Hall and the former Turner's Printing premises on Earl Street.

The announcement of this latest approval has been warmly welcomed by Longford/Westmeath TD Joe Flaherty who was "delighted" to be able to confirm this afternoon that Minister for Education Norma Foley and the Department of Education have approved the build.

"The school management and patrons have been given the go-ahead to complete the acquisition of a targeted site on the edge of Longford town," he told the Leader.

"I'm honoured to deliver on a commitment that the school and students sought from every election candidate in February 2020 and I'm pleased to say I maintained frequent communication with the Department and Minister for the past two years.

"All of this culminates in today's excellent news - #LongfordAbú."

Students and staff at Mean Scoil Mhuire began an active campaign for a new school in January 2020 ahead of the General Election in February, calling on all election candidates to pledge their support.

School principal, Aoife Mulrennan, told the Leader at the time that the school building is over 135 years old and is no longer suitable for the needs of its students.

"Quite simply, the building is not fit for purpose and our students do not have access to a building with the same modern facilities as other schools in the region," she said at the time.

"It’s not fair to expect our students, and teachers, to continue to excel academically in the current dated and restrictive building."

Negotiations are ongoing with Longford County Council and CEIST with regard to a site for the school and today's announcement will allow these discussions to conclude with a positive outcome.

The site is close to the site purchased for the new Gaelscoil and the two projects will open up new development opportunities for the town.

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