Closure of Crievagh Primary School taking ‘the heart’ out of the community

Crievagh Primary School
Crievagh Primary School

Devastated at the Education Minister’s decision to close the “heart of their community”, Crievagh Primary’s principal has vowed to write to John O’Dowd when the dust settles and ask what will be done to ease this “loss of identity”.

This rural community, according to the board of governors, parents and head George Cullen, was built around the school as the area’s only public centre.

And although families with children at the school have accepted the finality of Minister O’Dowd’s decision, they said they have been left wondering about the implication’s of the move.

“The board of governors, staff, parents and children at Crievagh Primary School are devastated at Minister John O’Dowd’s decision to close Crievagh Primary from August this year,” said Mr Cullen.

“We appreciate the excellent education the school has provided and are proud of all our staff and the hard work they have done in promoting the school in this wonderful setting. Politicians always claimed that it was not a numbers game,” he continued.

“But there has been no recognition of the effect that this closure will have on pupils, parents, families and life within the area.

“Crievagh School is the only public centre in its locality and is the heart of the community.”

Crievagh PS, Mr Cullen explained, has always remained within budget and operated to high educational standards, which he said were accessible to pupils from the local community and wider areas.

But he added: “We are certain that the impact this closure will have on the Crievagh identity as a whole will be devastating, and I would like to ask the government what will be done to replace this loss of identity that this area will no doubt suffer.”

When asked what the general feeling was in relation to Minister O’Dowd’s decision, he said: “Obviously it’s disappointment right across the board,” but added, “our main aim now is to work with all the relevant bodies to ensure the children have as smooth a transition as possible.

“Ultimately, the Minister’s decision is final.”