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O'Dowd celebrates 15 years of Irish-Medium education for Portadown school

Education Minister, John O'Dowd MLA has attended an event to mark the 15th anniversary of Bunscoil Eoin Baiste in Portadown.
Wednesday, 11 June 2014

The Irish-Medium unit at St John the Baptist Primary School was first established in the 1998-1999 academic year to meet a demand for Irish language education in the Portadown area.

Attending a celebratory concert in the school the Minister said: “It is a pleasure to be here in Bunscoil Eoin Baiste this evening to help celebrate this special occasion. I would like to thank the school principal Mario Gribben and Bunscoil Co-ordinator Erin Uí Lorcáin for their invitation and warm welcome.

“Over the past 30 years the Irish medium sector across the north has transformed into a vibrant, dynamic and integral part of our education system. I am committed to ensuring that parents here continue to have the choice to educate their children in what is our native language. Indeed children who are bilingual from a young age have a strong foundation for future learning in any subject, and often pick up other languages with ease, so the benefits of Irish medium education are many and varied.”

The Minister continued: “The success of Bunscoil Eoin Baiste is down to the hard work and commitment of the Principal and teaching body as well as the support staff, Board of Governors and the parents. It is clear that the school is catering for a real demand for education through the medium of Irish in the Portadown area.

“I commend everyone connected with the school and wish them the very best for the future.”

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.