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Campaign to save threatened cross border school near Belleek moves up a gear

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Campaign to save threatened cross border school near Belleek moves up a gear

The top table at the meeting in Brollagh.

A Bundoran community activist has called for a cross border dimension with a strong element of integration for a Belleek school that has been threatened with closure next year.

The Council for Catholic Maintained Schools (CCMS) is planning to close St Mary’s High School Brollagh by August 31, next year.

Former Northern Ireland Sinn Féin Education Minister John O’Dowd stopped a proposed closure three years ago to examine a cross border dimension with proposed links with schools in Ballyshannon, Bundoran and Manorhamilton.

However, former DUP Education Minister Peter Weir rejected this proposal.

Belleek native Michael McMahon told an angry public meeting of 300 in St Mary’s, that the cross border dimension should be explored again in conjunction with an integrated school.

“I think we should look at the cross border initiative and the CCMS seem to be a major part of the problem and are holding back the progress of Brollagh.

“A cross border initiative needs to be started up again.

“Ballyshannon and Bundoran have huge numbers in their schools and the Donegal Education authorities would be very interested in this," he said.

Meanwhile an Integrated school, a Satellite school and a combination of an Integrated School with a Cross Border dimension were some of the fresh initiative floated at a public meeting of over 300 on the future of St Mary’s Brollagh.

The meeting was called amid intense local anger at the continuing threat to their school, that has been providing education in the area since 1965.

There were several robust contributions from the floor and the meeting was told that all objections to the CCMS proposal had to be in by November 20.

A show of hands was called for the various proposals and Integrated Education with a Cross Border dimension seemed to be a favoured solution.

* For more, see Thursday's Donegal Democrat.