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Pupils of Gaelscoil Bharra and the band Tupelo serenaded Minister Batt O’Keeffe from outside the gates of Department of Education and Science with the song “Cá bhfuil ár Scoil?” on 15th October 2009.  The Minister better get used to it as he is likely to hear the tune again and again over the coming weeks as it hopefully rises to number 1 in the Irish charts.  Tupelo and the children of the Gaelscoil are releasing the song to highlight the dire condition of accomodation at the school.  The school has been housed in  ‘temporary’ prefabs for the past 14 years in conditions condemned by the Departments own inspectorate almost a decade ago.

Releasing “Cá Bhfuil ár Scoil?”, penned by Tupelo lead singer James Cramer, is a novel way of highlighting the scandalous conditions at the school and has attracted a high level of publicity with TV3 News, TG4 Nuacht and RonánBeo@3 on Raidio na Gaeltachta covering todays serenade of the Minister.  The song has also being covered by RTE News and Northside people and is to be covered by the Pat Kenny , Séan Moncrief and Mark Coleman radio shows in the coming days.

A golden ticket was accepted on behalf of the Minister inviting him to the Tupelo concert in The Village on 22nd October.  By then we hope Batt will know the lyrics off by heart and that he will have downloaded the single on iTunes,  his phone or bought the CD at the official launch of the song in Tower Records, Wicklow Street on the 16th of October. 

Following numerous renditions of the song the children, teachers, band and parent organisers got back on the bus, kindly provided by Terry, in the knowledge that while the Minister may not have turned up to pick up the golden ticket in person he is surely getting the message loud and clear – Cá bhfuil ár scoil? 

Congratulations to all who made today such a special day in the campaign for a new school !

Tá páistí Gaelscoil Bharra, Cabrach agus an banna Tupelo ag eisiúint singil ar an 16ú Deireadh Fómhair 2009 mar cuid den feachtas ar son scoil buan taréis 14 mblian i tithe réamhdhéanta.

Cá bhfuil ár Scoil?” is ainm an amhrán agus beidh sé ar fáil le íoslódáil ó iTunes, i Tower Records (Bóthar Chill Mhantáin) nó téacs “music 4075m” go 57501. Cosnaíonn an íoslódáil agus téacs 99c agus an dlúth diosca €3.

 Cum James Cramer, príomh amhránaí Tupelo “Cá bhfuil ár Scoil?” taréis droch stad na tithe réamhdhéanta a fheiscint nuair a thosaigh a mhac Cian sa scoil i mbliana. Duirt James “Má eiríonn go maith leis an singil tá súil again go gcuirfidh sé brú ar an tAire Oideachais airgead a chuir ar fáil chun foirgneamh buan don scoil a thógaint.”

 Beidh Tupelo agus daltaí Gaelscoil Bharra ag seint an amhrán lasmuigh den Roinn Oideachais agus ag lainseáil an singil i Tower Records mar cuid den feachtas. Beidh ceolchoirm ag an mbanna i ‘The Village’ freisin leis an airgead ag dul don Gaelscoil.

 I Feabhra 2000 taréis cúirt ar Gaelscoil Bharra duirt cigire ón Roinn Oideachais “the deplorable state of the temporary accommodation makes it imperative that the planning process be initiated as soon as possible”. 9 bliain níos deanaí tá an scoil fós lonnaithe i cóiríocht sealadach a bhfuil fuar sa Geimhreadh ró teith sa Samhradh, uisce ag teacht tríd an díon ó am go h-am isrl.

Dúirt Niamh Maloney, máthair Daithí a bhfuil sa naíonán beaga “Faoi láthair ceapaim go bhfuil seans níos fearr again uimhir 1 a bhaint amach sa cairteacha ná scoil buan a fháil do ár pháistí. Nuair a bhfeicim ar an ndroch stad ina bfuil na tithe réamhdhéanta ina bhfuil mo mhac agus 220 dalta eile agus cloisim go bhfuil €400m ag an tAire nár úsáid sé fós ar scoileanna a thógaint tagann fearg orm”.

 Dúirt Paul Mac Sweeney, athair Ama a bhfuil i rang a h-aon “Ní bheadh an tAire sásta obair sa scoil de bharr na fadhbanna sláinte agus sábháilteacht, cén fath go bhfuil gá ar mo iníon, na daltaí eile agus na múinteoirí? Ní stopfaidh muid an feachtas go dtí go mbíonn ár phaistí lonnaithe i foirgneamh buan. Iarann mé ar gach duine a bhfuil suim acú i ndrochstad scoileanna an singil seo a cheannacht.”

I Bealtaine 2009 sínigh gach Teachta Dála agus polaiteoir áitiúil litir ag lorg scoil buan don Gaelscoil agus cruinniú leis an tAire O’Keeffe. Cúig mí níos deanaí níl focal fós ón Aire faoi cruinniú.

San Earrach rinneamar scannán 9 nóiméad faoin scoil ar fail ag: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fLdnoWMDBwI

Léiríonn an scannáin níos fearr na focla na fadhbanna leis na tithe réamhdheanta agus an atmaisféar ionntach a bhfuil sa scoil comh mhaith de bharr múinteoirí iontachta.  

Ócáidí ag baint le eisiúint “Cá bhfuil ár Scoil?”

 Suíomh: An Roinn Oideachais agus Eolaíochta, Sráid Maoilbhríde, BÁC 1

Ócáid: Ag bronnadh ‘ticéad orga’ ar an Aire ag cuir fáilte roimhe go ceolchoirm Tupelo. Tupelo agus daltaí ón Gaelscoil ag canadh “Cá bhfuil ár Scoil?”

 Am: 15:00

Dáta: 15/10/09

 

Suíomh: Tower Records, Sráid Chill Mhantáin, BÁC 2

Ócáid: Lainseáil an singil “Cá bhfuil ár Scoil?” Tupelo agus daltaí ón scoil ag imirt an t-amhrán.

Am: 15:00

Dáta: 16/10/09

 

Suíomh: The Village, Sráid Loch Garmán, BÁC 2

Ócáid: Ceolchoirm Tupelo ar son Gaescoil Bharra

Am: 22:00

Dáta: 22/10/09

The Children of Gaelscoil Bharra, Cabra are releasing a single on 16th October 2009 with the rhythm & roots band, Tupelo as part of a parents campaign to get a permanent school after 14 years in prefabs. The song “Cá Bhfuil Ár Scoil?”, which will be available to download from iTunes and in Tower Records (Wiclow Street) or by texting “music 4075m” to 57501, is being released to raise awareness of the ongoing scandalous conditions of the prefabs and to hopefully embarrass the Minister for Education into green-lighting the building of a permanent school. Currently the school is located in “temporary” accommodation on the grounds of St. Finbarr’s GAA club in Cabra.

James Cramer, the lead singer/songwriter of Tupelo whose son Cian started in the school this September, composed the song. With the help of Gaelscoil Bharra parents and friends he is leading a campaign to get the song to number 1 on 23rd October 2009. The campaign will include canvassing all houses in the Cabra area asking them to download the single, an open air gig and presentation of a golden ticket to the Minister for Education and Science at Marlborough Street, the single launch in Tower Records and Tupelo fundraising gig for the school in The Village.

Parent Niamh Maloney, whose son Daithí is in Junior Infants, stated “At the moment I feel we have a better chance of getting a song to number 1 in the charts than a permanent school for our children. What does it say about the values of our society that parents have to release a protest song in the hope it will lead to our children being taught in a healthy and safe environment.? To hear that half of the Department of Educations budget on school building for this year has not been paid while our children are in dilapidated prefabs is really frustrating.”

 In February 2000 the Department of Educations District Inspector acknowledged that the accommodation for Gaelscoil Bharra was “highly unsatisfactory by any standardsand that “the deplorable state of the temporary accommodation makes it imperative that the planning process be initiated as soon as possible” Over 9 years have passed, countless questions have been asked in the Dáil, yet pupils and their teachers remain housed in the same deplorable temporary conditions which include sinking floors, leaking roofs, heating and sewerage problems.

 

Parent Catherine Smyth whose daughter Ama is in first class noted “The Minister wouldn’t work in these conditions. Why should our children and their teachers? We won’t stop our campaign until our children are housed in a decent permanent school building. I would urge everyone who is concerned about poor education conditions to download this song.”

 

In May 2009 all the local TDs and politicians (including the former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern) signed a letter addressed to Batt O’Keefe, Minister for Education and Science demanding a new school and asking that he meet with them. Five months on no meeting has been arranged.

 

Stills photographer, Bernard Walsh, shot the cover for the cd and posters, Martin Mahon, the documentary film maker who, with his partner, Alan Gilsenan has been responsible for the highly acclaimed documentaries “The Hospice”, “The Asylum”, “I see a Darkness” filmed the promo video (and is documenting the whole process from our early discussion with James onwards) and Tony Cranston (BAFTA award winning film editor – Mr Bean, League of Gentlemen, Cracker, to name but a few) edited our promo video (copy included in this press pack).”

 

Last Spring we had a 9 minute film made about the school which can be accessed at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fLdnoWMDBwI This details better than words, the difficulties the children face but also highlights the wonderful spirit in the school. Despite the scandalous physical conditions this is a fantastic school with enthusiastic and committed teachers. They have to teach in third world conditions, yet children are happy, well balanced and are getting a great education.

 

 

 

 

Events related to release of

“Cá Bhfuil Ár Scoil?”

 

 

LOCATION: Department of Education and Science, Marlborough Street, Dublin 1

Event: Presentation of ‘golden ticket’ to Minister O’Keeffe for Tupelo gig in The Village, Wexford Street on 22nd October. Tupelo and pupils of Gaelscoil Bharra will perform the single “Cá Bhfuil Ár Scoil?”.

TIME: 15:00

DATE: 15/10/09

 

LOCATION: Tower Records, Wicklow Street, Dublin 2

Event: Tupelo and pupils of Gaelscoil Bharra will launch the single “Cá Bhfuil Ár Scoil?” which will be available on iTunes and in Tower Records

TIME: 15:00

DATE: 16/10/09

 

LOCATION: The Village, Wexford Street, Dublin 2

Event: Concert by Tupelo in aid of Gaelscoil Bharra. Tupelo and pupils of Gaelscoil Bharra will perform the single “Cá Bhfuil Ár Scoil?”.

TIME: 20:00

DATE: 22/10/09

 

Glac na céadta, idir daltaí, tuismitheoirí agus múinteoirí, páirt sa ‘siúil fada’ ó Gaelscoil Bharra i gCabrach go dtí an Roinn Oideachais ar sráid Maoilbhríde i lár na cathrach ar an 2ú Meitheamh 2009.   

Bhí an agóid dathannach agus bríomhar le na daltaí ag seint ceol samba agus ag iompar balún aimsire móra leis an teachtaireacht “Go leoir aer teith – Tá gníomh ag teastáil uainn anois!”/ “Enough Hot Air – We Want Action Now!”  

Ní fheadfach an aimsir bheith níos fearr, gan fiú scamall sa spéir.

D’impigh na hagóideoirí ar an tAire go gcuirfí airgead ar fáil le haghaidh scoil buan a thógail.  Dún an Roinn Oideachais na geataí ar na daltaí nuair a shroicheamar Sráid Maoilbhríde.  D’fhág múinteoir Seán litir don Aire ag na geataí agus thug sé agallamh do TV3 (ar http://www.tv3.ie/videos.php?video=9662&locID=1.2.) ag leiriú go chuir muid agóid mór ar cheall roimh olltoghchán 2002 nuair a fuaireamar geallúint ón Taoiseach go ndeanfadh sé gach rud chun scoil buan a thógaint.  Seacht blian ó shin tá muid fós ag fanacht agus tá ár pháistí fós lonnaithe i ngrúpa bothán “sealadach” nach bhfuill corás téimh nó séarachais ceart iontu. 

Comhghairdeachas leis na tuismitheoirí agus múinteoirí a d’eagraigh an siúil fada, go háirithe Seán agus Brian Gormley.

Hundreds of parents,pupils and teachers from Gaelscoil Bharra held a very visual and colourful protest march on June 2nd.  ‘An Siúil Fada’ (The Long March) started at Gaelscoil Bharra on Fassaugh Avenue in Cabra and meandered its way through the streets of Cabra, Phibsborough, Parnell Square and O’Connell Street before arriving at 3.15pm at the Department of Education on Marlborough St.

The residents of Dublin Central were protesting to express their outrage that they have been waiting 13 years for a permanent school building. The event was a highly visual affair with the students and parents carrying massive, colourful, weather balloons bearing messages like: “Enough Hot Air – We Want Action Now!” and “13 blian ag fanacht –  Cá bhfuil ár scoil.” Students wore Gaelscoil football jerseys, gaelscoil bharra uniforms, t-shirts and carried a large gaelscoil bharra flag.  Parents and teachers wore high visibility road safety vests marshalling the children.  Mossie did a great job as chief marshall.  Sixth class provided the entertainment playing samba music in the sweltering heat.  We were cheered on by onlookers and many a car horn was honked in support.  There was a great turnout of politicians too, the main Government party being the only one not represented on the day.   

The school has become a major focus in the Dublin Central bye-election and the local elections, and has been visited by politicians from all the major parties within the last few weeks. In an unusual gesture of cross-party support, all the sitting TDs and all candidates have also signed a letter calling on the Department to proactively engage with Gaelscoil Bharra and confirm that funding will be made available for the project. The letter points out that it has now been nine years since the Department of Education recommended that they be moved into a permanent building due to the “deplorable state of the temporary accommodation”

Chairperson of the parent-led Committee for a Permanent School, Mossie Byrne  called on the Minister, Batt O’Keeffe to visit the school to see the awful conditions at first hand.

Múinteoir Séan addressed the large crowd of protestors and handed in a letter through the locked gates of the Department calling on Minister O’Keeffe to deliver on a permanent school now.

TV3 covered the march, shooting in the school, on the march and the protest at the Department (Coveraged can be accessed at http://www.tv3.ie/videos.php?video=9662&locID=1.2.).  TV3 also got a comment from the Minister stating that the parents should be ‘patient’.  We’ve been too patient for too long.  13 years too patient.  As múinteoir Seán said in the TV3 interview Gaelscoil Bharra called off a march scheduled on the eve of the 2002 elections on the promise from the Taoiseach of the day that he would do all he can to ensure the school was built.  7 years on we are still waiting.  We will continue to protest and highlight the shocking conditions of the Gaelscoil Bharra prefabs until the powers that be are shamed into building a permanent school that our children and their teachers deserve.

Well done to all who marched, to all who helped make the day the success that it was.  Thanks to Brian Gormley for coming up with the idea of the weather balloons and organising the balloons and media and múinteoir Seán for the idea and organisation of ‘an siúil fada’.

 

Bhí ceisteanna crua le freagairt ag polaiteoirí ar an 21ú Bealtaine ag 8in i gClub CLG Naomh Fionbarra faoin droch stad ina bhfuil Gaelscoil Bharra. Bhí tuismitheoirí, muinteoirí agus daltaí ag tnú le eolas a fháil amach ó na polaiteoirí agus úrlabhraí ón Roinn Oideachais cathan a thógfaí scoil buan don gaelscoil i gCabrach.  Cé nach raibh úrlabhraí i láthar ón Roinn nó ón Comhairle bhí doiciméad le mionchuntas ar cad atá déanta ag an Comhairle agus cad atá le déanamh.   Bhí litir gearr ón Roinn Oideachas gan aon eolas ann ar amtábla le scoil buan a thógaint. 

Oscail muid an cruinniú le scannán faoin scoil (is féidir an scannán a aimsiú ar youtube ag www.youtube.com/watch?v=fLdnoWMDBwI ). Bhí cóip sínithe den litir a sheol na polaiteoirí go léir ón ceanntar don Aire Oideachas, ag lorg scoil buan, ar fáil ag an cruinniú freisin.

 

Bhí fearg agus díomá ar tuismitheoirí go raibh na páistí fós ag dul ar scoil i mbothán “sealadach” nach bhfuill corás téimh nó séarachais ceart iontu.

A meeting updating where we are at and what we still need to do to achieve a permanent school building was held in Naomh Fionnbarra’s GAA Club on 21st May 2009.  The meeting, organised by the Permanent School Committee/ the Parents Committee/ the School Board and Naomh Fionnbarra GAA Club, was attended by about a hundred people including parents/teachers/pupils and politicians.  A film on Gaelscoil Bharra, available on youtube and made by parent Martin Moloney, started the meeting.

We invited Dublin City Council (DCC) and the Minister for Education.  While neither sent a representative DCC sent on a detailed letter outlining the work they have done to date and how they hoped to have all their technical assessments completed by 22nd May which would allow DCC to pursue negotiations on transfer of the school site from the Club to the Department of Education and Science.  DCC’s detailed response contrasted with a short and vague response from the Department of Education.  

Naomh Fionnbarra’s club treasurer, in line with the response from DCC, stated again the club’s full commitment to signing over the part of the lease necessary to facilitate the building of a permanent school.  All political parties were represented and, when questioned, accepted that the  Club was not in any way responsible for holding up the building of a permanent school (as had been claimed on the doorsteps of Cabra by one misinformed politician). 

Speaker after speaker, including múinteor Seán and Chairman of the school Board,  highlighted their frustration with the slow pace at which progress was being made and the lack of urgency from the Department of Education.  

Politicians outlined what they intended to do if elected in the upcoming local, bye and European elections.  Some parents thought we could only achieve a permanent school by depending on ourselves rather than waiting on the politicians, after all we’ve been waiting 13 years and the politicians haven’t delivered yet.  Another parent encouraged all present to make their voice heard and vote in the upcoming elections.

Copies of the cross party letter, signed by all politicians in the area, calling on the Minister for Education to provide the funding for a permanent school and criticisng the slow progress by the Department to date was circulated along with press coverage since the permanent building committee was set up in November 2008.

Mossey, chairing  the meeting, summed up the progress that had been made since last November and how Gaelscoil Bharra will continue to put the Government under pressure until a new school is completed.