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Big breakthrough as new school for Coláiste Íosagáin in Portarlington moves to planning permission stage

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The long-running battle to get a new school for Coláiste Íosagáin in Portarlington took a significant step forward today with the news that the project will now move Stage 2 of the process and apply for planning permission.

The new build school will be a €25 million project and has been described by local independent TD Cathal Berry as “transformative”.

“I welcome the confirmation today that the Coláiste Íosagáin Secondary School  project will be moving from Stage 1 (Architectural Design) to Stage 2 (Planning Permission).

“It has been my number one priority to secure this critical infrastructure for the Portarlington area.”

Deputy Berry further stated, “I fully appreciate what a gateway a good secondary school is for people’s personal and professional development. H

“Having repeated my own Leaving Certificate in the school in 2009 to get into Medical School, I’m delighted to finally see some positive progress. This €25m project will be transformative for the town.

“I’m looking forward to meeting again with students, staff, parent representatives and the rest of the school community shortly to update them in person.”

“Our intention is to nudge and shove it along over the summer from Stage 1 to Stage 2 (the planning permission stage),” said Deputy Berry earlier this year.

“If we can get that over the line this summer, we can get the ball rolling on it.

“I’ve had a number of one to one meetings with Minister for Education Norma Foley. We’re on very good terms and I find her very constructive and very approachable and it’s certainly on our radar now.

“From my perspective and our team in Portarlington it’s absolutely our number one priority.”

“It’s where I repeated my own Leaving Cert in 2009 so I’ve a bias towards it and I’ve no problem admitting that,” he told LaoisToday recently at the official opening of the SOLAS Eco Garden Centre in Portarlington.  

Local Sinn Féin councillor Aidan Mullins has also warmly welcomed the news.

“This is great to see and a new secondary school for Portarlington is long overdue to serve the town and surrounding areas,” said Cllr Mullins.

“This project is a long time in the pipeline but it will be a great addition and facility for the young people in our area to be educated in a new state-of-the-art building.

“It’s great news for the staff and students and I’m looking forward to the project getting underway as soon as possible hopefully.”

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Stradbally native Alan Hartnett is a graduate of Knockbeg College who has worked in the local and national media since 2008. Alan has a BA in Economics, Politics and Law and an MA in Journalism from DCU. His happiest moment was when Jody Dillon scored THAT goal in the Laois senior football final in 2016.