After years of wrangling, Bunscoil an Traonaigh has finally secured some progress in their quest to get a new school that can cater properly for the educational needs of its pupils.

Since 2014, the Lisnaskea Irish school has been waiting for some positive developments in the search for a new home when it was granted capital grant status by the Department of Education.

In December 2015, it was decided that the former Lisnaskea High School site would be split to allow the use of part of the site by the Irish medium primary school and nursery.

However, since then, nothing has been done due to ongoing interests from various organisations and government departments.

Delays in development have come through other community organisations, expressing an interest in using the site and it was decided by the former Education Minister, Peter Weir, to give organisations the opportunity to put forward business plans for use of the site. Until there was a project that could work in tandem on the site with the Bunscoil, there would be no progress.

At a meeting on April 1, representatives from the school met with Department of Education officials where it was confirmed that a portion of the old Lisnaskea High school site was marked out for the Bunscoil, would be de-coupled, meaning work can start on its part of land without waiting for any other organisations.

For Bunscoil an Traonaigh principal, Sorcha Ní Murchú, the progress is welcomed, however she knows that the school cannot get too far ahead of itself, as promises have been made before that have not been kept.

“I suppose whilst it is a step in the right direction it is still nothing concrete. It is progress though,” said Miss Ní Murchú.

“They haven’t given us any date or timescale to when we are moving but they have said that the 2019/20 financial year that the building will be demolished and because they are only working on a one-year financial plan they can’t promise us anything after that.”

It is good news for a school that is increasing in numbers year on year, but with the increase in numbers the space on the current school site gets smaller and smaller.

A recent modular build on the current site, costing almost a quarter of a million pounds, has helped but it is not enough, and Miss Ní Murchú knows that if they are going to meet the needs of their pupils.

“It’s move in right direction going forward but we are still waiting to find out when we eventually move.

“We have been here before where I have told parents different thing too many times. It’s fantastic don’t get me wrong. We are getting a better space just hopefully it will all work out but it’s going to take a long time to get there.”

The remainder of the site may now go out to tender with the Department of Health earmarking it as a potential site for a new Health Centre in the town.

A spokesperson for the Department of Education said: “The Department of Education’s position remains as agreed by John O’Dowd in December 2015 and also subsequently agreed by Peter Weir MLA in November 2016, that the former Lisnaskea High School site will be split to allocate a portion for use by Bunscoil an Traonaigh.

“There has been intensive engagement in recent months between the Department of Education, the Department of Health and the Department for Communities in relation to the vacated Lisnaskea High School site and the previous site plan was reviewed based on each party’s indicative requirements and a new proposal developed to relocate Bunscoil an Traonaigh to the part of the site where the vacated High School buildings are currently situated.

“As there are existing buildings on this part of the site, demolition work will be required before the school could relocate, however it would be the Department’s intention to work with the Education Authority to undertake the demolition works during the 2019-20 financial year.

“A decision in relation to the remainder of the site has not yet been taken by the Department. Discussions remain on-going between senior officials from the Department of Education, the Department for Communities and the Department of Health,” the spokesperson concluded.