Plenty of reasons to celebrate at the Gaelscoil

Braidan, Callum, Georgia, Treasa and Ella… some of the Gaelscoil children who passed their GCSE Irish in P7.

DESPITE the summer holidays coming to an abrupt end for young people across the district this week, children attending Gaelscoil Uí Dhochartaigh have perhaps more reason to celebrate than others.

As well as last year’s P7s at the school achieving an amazing set of results in their GCSEs, there is also the small matter of a new build on the horizon, a consultation for which will take place in September. To boot, the Gaelscoil is also marking its 20th anniversary with a gala event at the Fir Trees Hotel.

Earlier this year, Strahan’s Road was unveiled as the location for a new £3 million Irish language school. As well as seven classrooms, the build across 1.2 hectares of land will comprise a separate Naíscoil unit, a multi-purpose hall, a library, a dedicated school meals kitchen, parking space and a green area.

The move to Strahan’s Road will mean Gaelscoil Uí Dhochartaigh leaving the Ballycolman Estate after 15 years.

This week however, principal Máire Ní Dhochartaigh revealed that a community consultation event (CCE) will be held on September 20 at the school between 2-7pm.

“The project is being managed from inception to completion by an experienced consultant team led by a project manager and architect,” Mrs Ní Dhochartaigh explained.

“The project is progressing well and to programme.

“Formal discussions have commenced with Derry City and Strabane District Council and it is envisaged that the planning application will be submitted late 2017.”

She added, “We hope to start the build in July 2018, but that’s not set in stone just yet.”

Mrs Ní Dhochartaigh also paid tribute to those pupils from the school which recently received their GCSE results. Altogether, 12 P7s and one former pupil sat their exams, achieving seven A*s and 6As.

“It was great,” she said. “I was very happy for them.

“It’s a good thing for those children going into first year that they have something under their belt. It’s proof of an extra talent that they have.
“This is the first year that we done this but definitely it’s something we hope to continue.”

Gaelscoil Uí Dhochartaigh itself was established in 1997 in what was then St Anne’s Pastoral Centre on Newtownkennedy Street. Marking that inception on September 29, everyone involved with the school is being invited to a 20th anniversary celebration at the Fir Trees Hotel in Strabane, festivities kicking off at 8pm.

“The night at the Fir Trees is for all friends and families connected with the school – and former pupils – to mark the anniversary,” Mrs Ní Dhochartaigh said.

“It’s a celebration of everything we’ve done at the school and how far the school has come over the past 20 years.”

A buffet and live music are being planned for the event and tickets can be booked through the school.



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