Progress is being made to retain St Joseph’s outreach class in Mohill, with St Manchan’s NS agreeing to take over the patronage.
There was great dismay amongst staff and parents last year when the North West Parents and Friends Association, Sligo said they would close the unit as it was “no longer sustainable to manage.”
But it seems there is great hope that the children with special needs and high dependency will attend St Manchan’s NS, Mohill this September.
Sinn Féin Cllr Martin Kenny, who voiced his concern at the announcement of the closure last year said, “Efforts to have this facility remain open in Mohill are progressing well as St Manchan’s Primary School has agreed to take over the patronage of the special unit. This was a major step forward and great credit must to go to the Principal Brid Cahill and the Board of Management of St Manchan’s for taking on this additional workload. At present the Department of Education and the Mayo, Sligo and Leitrim Education and Training Board are working out the details of how the new arrangement will function alongside the existing Primary school.”
Cllr Kenny said parents of the small number of children attending class have been anxiously awaiting this news. He said, “The only concern of the parents has been and indeed remains the wellbeing and the best educational outcome for their child and keeping this facility in place ensures that the option of a unit in Leitrim is there for them. These parents have fundraised and worked for years to have proper facilities for their children, and now that this facility in Mohill will open again in September, hopefully it will be there as long as it is needed.”
St Joseph’s Outreach Class which teaches special needs children has been operating since 2001 as an outreach service from Sligo’s St Joseph’s School. The class was previously located in Drumshanbo and moved to the old Marian College, Mohill in 2010. Numbers at the class had fallen and are expected to fall further.