New primary school for Rathfriland

editorial image

Iveagh Primary School, Rathfriland is one of 15 schools to benefit from a £170m capital investment programme.

Presenting an update to the assembly, the Education Minister named the schools to be built under the programme.

John O’Dowd said: “All across the north there are a range of schools which are in dire need of investment. Unfortunately that need far exceeds the funding available. Therefore the schools benefiting today represent the highest priority projects which have successfully come through a rigorous selection process.

“My Department’s strategy for capital investment into the foreseeable future will remain focussed on supporting the development and delivery of a network of viable and sustainable schools, set firmly in the context of ‘Schools for the Future: A Policy for Sustainable Schools’ and shaped by the outworking of the area planning process.

“I remain resolute in ensuring that my investment plans will also focus on providing a first class education experience. In developing my investment plans for the schools’ estate, it is incumbent on me to balance the limited capital resources made available to me against the scale of investment needed across, what can only be described as a wide and diverse schools’ estate.”

Local MLA John McCallister has warmly welcomed the news.

“This is wonderful news for Iveagh Primary School and the entire Rathfriland community. The current school building is far from ideal so therefore a modern fit for purpose building is excellent news,” he said.

“The school recently celebrated its 75th anniversary and that alone speaks volumes about the current physical state of the building.

“Numbers are growing at Iveagh and the teaching staff deliver a first class education to the children of Rathfriland and surrounding area so I am delighted that the Department has given a commitment to providing a first class building to allow them to continue with their excellent work.”

Mr McCallister said he would like to see the rebuild commence as soon as possible with regular updates from the Department as to the progress of the project.

“Iveagh Primary School has been deemed a high priority project which has successfully come through a rigorous selection process.”

“I am aware that in other areas including Dromore, they are still waiting many years later after the announcement was made. I will keep in regular contact with the Department to see how things progress.”