City's first new Catholic school in 30 years opens
Classes have begun at the first Catholic school to open in Ireland in almost 30 years.
Le Cheile Secondary School in Dublin 15 welcomed more than 80 pupils yesterday for the first day of term.
It is located in temporary accommodation in Mill Road, Blanchardstown, ahead of the construction of its permanent home in Tyrrelstown.
The opening of the new school follows the Department of Education's decision to allocate patronage of new schools based on parental preference.
Most parents in Tyrrelstown wanted a Le Cheile School which has a Catholic ethos, but the school also welcomes students from all faith traditions and none.
The Le Cheile Schools Trust comprises schools of 14 religious congregations.
"We offer a full range of subjects, a total of 13, and everyone is doing everything, which is great," school principal Aine Moran told the Herald.
"I've been principal since February 1. It took about six months to set ourselves up.
"This is the first Catholic school to open without a religious order behind it because it doesn't belong to Dominicans or De La Salles.
"This school is a trust school, it's part of the Le Cheile Trust but it doesn't have any religious order behind it. It's quite different from other Catholic schools that would have religious orders behind them.
"There is no Catholic school from Finglas, past Dunboyne in this direction. They're all multi-denominational or non-denominational. In effect in Dublin 15, there hasn't been much parental choice because of the type of schools that opened in the last 30 years."
While local people asked for a Catholic school, "the majority of our parents are not Catholic but they have chosen a Catholic school", Ms Moran added.
All students use iPads and are also studying additional subjects including technical graphics and coding.
In a statement, the school said: "Le Cheile Secondary School belongs to the same trust and holds the same vision for education as such educational giants as the Dominican schools, the De Le Salle Schools and Holy Faith Schools."
The school crest features its motto "Welcome, Wisdom, Witness". A bus, paid for by the Department of Education, took students to class yesterday morning. The Mill Road building was previously the Irish Swiss Institute of Horology, where students were trained in the science of measuring time.