Donnelly Welcomes Purchase of Convent Lands

Stephen Donnelly, Social Democrat TD for Wicklow and East Carlow, is delighted to share the news that the future viability of St. Brigid’s National School in Greystones has been secured with a last-minute deal between the convent and the Department of Education and Skills.

St. Brigid’s has very little land – in fact its space per student is just one quarter of the Department’s guidelines. This means that kids can’t run in the school, that break times have to be phased and that there aren’t the facilities for much sporting activities.

The Holy Faith Order informed the school earlier this year of its intention to sell the convent and the adjoining lands of 0.6 acres. The purchase of the convent and lands by the school was seen as the only possible opportunity to secure its long-term viability. The board of management and Deputy Donnelly have been in on-going communication with the Minister and senior Department officials in a bid to secure public money to purchase the building and land for the school.

Due to initial resistance however, the convent lands were due to be sold at auction today by Savill’s in Buswells Hotel in Dublin. However, last night, Savill’s contacted interested bidders to inform them that the auction was cancelled.

Speaking in Greystones today, Deputy Donnelly stated:

“I spoke with Savill’s this morning, and they have confirmed to me that the Department has gone sale agreed on the land. I’m delighted with this last minute deal, which will come as a huge relief to the children, to their parents, and to the entire town. Huge credit must go to the school principal, Sr. Kathleen, and to the Board of Management, chaired by Mr. Tom Sherlock.”

  • simonmlewis

    Hi Stephen, I’m really puzzled by this story and I’m not coming from an anti-church angle or anything like that. My reading into this is that the church owns both the school land and building and it also owned the convent. How does the government have to buy the convent for the school if it is owned by the same entity? Moreover, now that the government has bought this convent, what does this mean for the future, let’s say in terms of a change in patronage, etc.? While I’m glad the children in the school have somewhere to play, I’m sorry, but the whole thing makes no sense to me.