First Irish school funded by BELB opens

It was a celebratory day for the pupils of a North Belfast Irish primary school this week after it became the first Irish medium school to be funded by the Belfast Education and Library Board.

The great news followed a hectic year in 2003 when the students had to leave their home in St Patrick’s school in North Queen Street.

But now Bunscoil Mhic Reachtain (McCracken primary) can now call the former Fredrick Street nursery home and the kids are delighted with their new surroundings.

When the school had to vacate the premises at St Patrick’s, Presbyterian minister Bill Shaw threw open his doors and temporarily housed the youngsters while classes continued.

And principal Seamus O Donnghaile said the local naiscóil An Lóiste Úr and a new nursery in the grounds of Glengormley’s St Enda’s GAA club had bolstered numbers at the school.

BELB chief executive David Cargo and chairwoman Carmel McKinney were at the school for its official adoption into the BELB fold.

David Cargo paid tribute to the school’s inclusiveness.

“The board was looking at the concept of controlled status. We have majority protestant schools that are controlled, we also have catholic schools and we have integrated schools,” he said.

Journalist:: Staff Reporter

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