No school places for nearly half of children in Dublin 8

"It's only gotten worse in the last few generations when more schools have closed down"
Jack Quann
Jack Quann

16.12 1 Aug 2023

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No school places for nearly ha...

No school places for nearly half of children in Dublin 8

Jack Quann
Jack Quann

16.12 1 Aug 2023

Share this article

Nearly half the children looking for secondary school places in Dublin 8 can't get one, according to one parent.

D8 School Action Group Spokeswoman Louise Fitzpatrick told Lunchtime Live there is currently an 'intake ratio' in the area of 55% - meaning 45% of children have to leave the area for education.


"So, 45% of kids who are in primary school need to leave the area to get a secondary school place," she said.

"By 2026, there will be a deficit of over 2,000 places... for kids in Dublin 8, where they will need to leave the area to get secondary school education".

Ms Fitzpatrick said they have been consistently told the need is not big enough in the area.

"There's always been an under-provision of secondary school places in the area," she said.

"It's only gotten worse in the last few generations when more schools have closed down".

'Not fair on our kids'

Quoting a 2016 report from Maynooth University, Ms Fitzpatrick said things are only getting worse.

"Not only do we have much less school places available for kids in school now, that situation is only going to get worse," she said.

"Despite numerous calls to numerous Departments of Education over the years, we keep getting told that that need is not big enough to warrant a new school - despite their own data showing that it is.

"In the meantime, in areas that have lots of available schools and lots of available places, they use other data to show that they can justify new schools.

"Dublin 8 is a vibrant, growing community, but when we do compare ourselves to other suburbs we do feel like this is not really fair and not really fair on our kids".

'90 minute commute'

Ms Fitzpatrick said a former plan suggested to ease the problem could see students commuting for 15 hours every week.

"In the mid-2000s, the Department of Education did come back with a solution for the Dublin 2, 4, 6, 8 area," she said.

"The school that they provided for the Dublin 2, 4, 6, 8 area was in Sandymount on the very edge of Dublin.

"Our response every time we ask [is] 'Well we built you a school, why are you unhappy with the school?'

"For Dublin 8, especially where I live in Inchicore/Kilmainham, that commute would take 90 minutes for kids to get there.

"There are kids doing that... two buses, or a bus and a long walk or a long cycle.

"90 minutes each way to get to school; that's the Government's solution".

'Losing a sense of community'

Ms Fitzpatrick said children from the area are moving to other schools and losing their friends.

"There's some schools in our area where, there was one class of 24 kids, where the kids went to 11 different secondary schools this year," she said.

"There's no community being built up, all those childhood friends... that's when you build up get, great friendships.

"If you're asking kids to break up with all their friends, you're really losing that sense of community.

"For those kids themselves, their experience in secondary school is going to be very different.

"If you're having to have to get two buses to go to school, your afterschool activities, your weekends, your summer holidays are going to be very different to those who have that friendship circle within their own community," she added.

Ms Fitzpatrick said they simply have no choice.

"If you look at other suburbs, you can make all of those choices on your doorstep - 'I want X type of patronage, I want X type of subjects, I want X focus' - right now, for most of our kids, they don't even have that choice in the first place," she added.

Listen back here:

Main image: Students heading into school in Dublin city in March 2021. Picture by: Sasko Lazarov/

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D8 School Action Group Department Of Education Louise Fitzpatrick Lunchtime Live Maynooth University

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