Skip the NI Direct Bar
Skip navigation

O'Dowd officially opens new premises for Irish-medium nursery unit in north Belfast

Education Minister, John O’Dowd, has attended the official opening of new premises for Naíscoil Bheann Mhadagáin in north Belfast.
Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Education Minister, John O’Dowd with students and Principal Maíre Uí Éigeartigh at the official opening of Naíschoil Bheann Mhadagáin
Education Minister, John O’Dowd with students and Principal Maíre Uí Éigeartigh at the official opening of Naíschoil Bheann Mhadagáin

Having begun life as a voluntary playgroup in 1996, Naíscoil Bheann Mhadagáin has been a statutory nursery unit since September 2012, providing 26 full-time pre-school places for children in the area to learn through the medium of Irish. The Department of Education has since invested £232,000 to provide modular accommodation for the nursery unit on the site of the former Cliftonville cricket grounds.

Speaking during his visit the Minister said: “I welcome the opportunity to be part of the celebrations marking the opening of the new nursery here at Bheann Mhadagáin. I would like to thank everyone involved for their warm welcome, in particular the children of Rang 5 for the wonderful musical entertainment they provided.

“We all recognise that quality pre-school education has a direct positive impact on a child’s educational outcomes in later life. It builds on the very first learning done at home from birth and provides a solid basis for every child’s continuing learning journey.

“The opening of the naíscoil is also significant as it is the beginning of wider proposed development that will see the building of new premises for the bunscoil, which will include a 3G pitch with changing facilities. This new provision will not only benefit the children of the area but indeed the wider community and work is expected to begin very soon.”

The Minister concluded: “I have thoroughly enjoyed my visit today and it has been a pleasure to meet the pupils and staff. I commend the Principal and Governors on their strong leadership and also the whole staff body, both past and present, for their commitment and hard work. I wish eveone connected with the school every success as they look ahead to an exciting new era.”

Notes to editors:

  1. The Department of Education’s ‘Education Works’ campaign encourages families to play, talk, read and count with their child and to ‘Get Involved Because Education Works’. The campaign highlights the vital role families can play in helping children do well at school and improve their life chances. Visit NIdirect website for more information or watch the TV ad on the Department’s YouTube channel.
  2. View photos from the Department of Education in our Flickr collection.
  3. Media enquiries to the Department of Education’s Communications Team on Tel: 028 9127 9207. Out of office hours contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 07699715440 and your call will be returned.