Catholic schools ‘eating reserves’ to stay open

Dozens of Catholic schools in Dublin face closure within two years unless a funding crisis is urgently addressed, the Church has warned.

Anne McDonagh, director of the Dublin Archdiocese Education Secretariat, told the Oireachtas Committee on Education that a “significant percentage” of its 446 primary schools were at risk of shutting down because of cuts in capitation grants, summer work schemes and other supports.

“We are trying to work out what kind of schools are able to manage on the grants they get. The Department [of Education] does not know,” Ms McDonagh told the committee.

“Schools that had reserves, they are eating into them. That is why we think they will not last longer than two years,” she said.

The archdiocese also came in for sharp criticism over the planned relocation of 300 boys from the De La Salle National School in Ballyfermot to a nearby Dominican campus with 1,000 children.