Local representatives have called on the local community to get behind the campaign to keep St. Mary’s High School, Brollagh open as the consultation period for raising objections comes to a close.

With the school earmarked for closure for the fourth time since 2008, the local community are as determined as ever to ensure that there is a future of post-primary education in west Fermanagh.

At Tuesday’s Council meeting in Omagh, SDLP Councillor for Erne North John Coyle proposed at the meeting that the Council invite CCMS to come explain what he referred to as “misleading information” in the consultant document.

He also urged that all Councillors reply to the consultation and urge as many people as possible to reply to consultation to ensure that the school is maintained.

Sinn Féin Councillor Anthony Feeley of Sinn Fein also supported his fellow Erne North councillors who spoke on the issue.

A meeting was held on last Wednesday, May 29 to give people the opportunity to hear on the latest updates around the proposal for closure of the school.

Frank Maguire from the school’s Parents Action Group said the meeting was well attended by people who want to reject the proposal.

“There was a good size of a crowd at it and obviously everybody that was in attendance were very determined to reject this proposal of closure from the CCMS,” said Frank.

“We are trying to galvanise the community and keep them up to date on what is happening and encouraging them as well to get their letters of responses away as well.”

Objections to the proposal for closure can be submitted up until June 17, and Frank is encouraging as many people as possible to get their objections in with meetings being scheduled every week right up until the consultation ends.

“We are encouraging through our campaigns to send a letter of objection to this consultation because it’s another attack on a rural area and another public service gone as such and lead to further rural decline as such.

“We feel that the child has not been centred around the decision.

“If this goes ahead it is going to end post-primary education in the area for ever. There won’t be a post-primary education school in west Fermanagh.”

And the community is determined to not let that happen.

“We have overturned it three times before and we are equally determined to overturn it again.”

Sinn Féin MLA Jemma Dolan was also at the meeting and said it was a positive meeting.

“We have been up against this before and I have no doubt from the mood of the meeting we will be up against it again. And the parents and the local community will be ready for it. If the school did close it’s more than just an attack on education its the local community as well.

“The whole community and local area needs to get behind it and support it.”

She urged all who can to attend the public meeting tonight (Thursday) to show the Education Authority and CCMS that they won’t be backing down.

Newly elected SDLP Councillor for Erne West, Adam Gannon has also urged people from across Fermanagh to submit a letter of objection to the proposal to close St. Mary’s High School Brollagh.

“St. Mary’s is an excellent school and has consistently achieved high GCSE grades and it is shocking that yet another proposal is being brought forward to close this school. It is important that we retain vital rural services in our county. Belcoo, Garrison and Belleek are some of the most deprived areas in Northern Ireland and the closure of this school would only further exacerbate the issues faced by the community. We’ve already seen the impacts of rural decline in this county, look at Rosslea where the secondary school closing was just the beginning of the withdrawal of services.

“I’m urging everyone to formally object to this proposal and use their voice to save this school and I’ll be raising this at our council meeting on Tuesday and asking that the council also oppose this proposal.

“There seems to be an agenda to remove services from Fermanagh, just look at the recent attempts to remove health services from our villages and the SWAH and we cannot allow our young peoples’ education to suffer. People who live in rural areas shouldn’t be second class citizens when it comes to accessing services, we deserve just as good as everywhere else.”

Another public meeting was to take place last night.