The local community in the Black Valley are ‘bitterly disappointed’ at the decision by the Bishop of Kerry to close the Black Valley School in the coming weeks.
local group had met with Diocesan representatives in recent weeks in a bid to save the school. They had remained hopeful that the decision would be re-examined but their hopes were dashed on Monday when they were informed the closure is to go ahead.
The Black Valley Community Group have expressed huge disappointment at the news. They will meet later this week to discuss the situation and explore any possible options to save their local school.
“We tried to be positive and look to the future of the school as a Gaelscoil. Sadly we have to report that we are bitterly disappointed, and feel they [the Diocese of Kerry] have washed their hands of us long before now,” said Ann Marie O’Donoghue in a statement.
“There was no consultation with the community before the decision was made to close the school and we felt there was no reasoning with them today. It has all been a complete waste of time and energy. We did everything to try and sort things out behind closed doors but to no avail,” she said.
The Diocese of Kerry who is the patron of the school have the final decision on the closure of the Gap of Dunloe National School in the Black Valley and have made the decision to close it in June. The school currently has only two pupils.
Local resident Susan Tangney said that the community is ‘deflated’ following the decision as they had hoped that options to save the school would be looked at. However, the Diocese re-iterated their decision to close the school.
“We are very disappointed about the whole thing and shocked. We feel like nothing was done to try and secure the future of the school .. We feel that the energy of the last couple of weeks was for nothing.”
“There are young people living in the Black Valley that see themselves living in the area in the future, things change all the time.”
The school originally opened in 1869 and the present building opened in 1985 thanks to land donated by a local family and with contributions from the community.
1869 and the present building opened in 1985 thanks to land donated by a local family and with contributions from the community.