Pictured at Scoil Muire Gan Smál in Creagh, Ballinasloe, were the chairperson of the school's board, Frank Gallagher, Senator Aisling Dolan, Principal Áine Ní Cholleráin Bleahene, Kai O’Rourke, and Deputy Principal Majella O’Rourke.

Ballinasloe school set to expand with addition of two modular classrooms

A funding allocation of almost €700,000 has been approved in order to provide two modular classrooms at Scoil Muire Gan Smál in Creagh, Ballinasloe, this summer.

Fine Gael's Aisling Dolan this week welcomed the investment, saying the "high spec" classrooms would help ease the current pressure on school places in the area.

She added that the new facilities should be in place by September, and would create the first-ever class for pupils with autism at the school.

The principal of Scoil Muire Gan Smál in Creagh, Áine Ní Cholleráin Bleahene, said the new classrooms would "make such a difference" to the school, which caters to pupils from junior infants to sixth class.

"Thank you to Deputy Principal Majella O’Rourke and all of our excellent teaching staff who look after hundreds of children from all around Ballinasloe and the counties of Galway and Roscommon," said the principal.

"We also have strong support from the school board and parents association to enhance capacity at the school, and this is very much appreciated.

"The design for these modular units proposes (using) the space towards the Creagh junction. We will be able to keep all of our green spaces, as well as a new proposed soft play area outside.

"We are expanding with high numbers of children each September so many young families will really benefit from these new classrooms."

Senator Dolan pointed out that the school in Creagh had over 440 pupils, and there was huge demand from parents for places this September.

"Ballinasloe is growing, and it is especially evident when it comes to getting a school place in town," she said.

"I want to thank the school board, and chairperson Frank Gallagher, together with Principal Áine Ní Cholleráin Bleahene and the teaching staff, for their trojan work in the expansion of the school.

"It is wonderful to see how the teaching staff are so innovative each year in using all the space available indoors and outdoors for children.

"These classrooms will be a huge boost and also include the first-ever autism class for the school.

"I worked with Minister Josepha Madigan in her role over Special Education and Inclusion in the Department of Education to highlight the need in Creagh national school.

"This investment of close to €700,000 for two high spec additional modular classrooms will mean more space for children come September," she concluded.