Education Minister, John O’Dowd, today officially opened Gaelscoil na mBeann, a new Irish-medium school in Kilkeel.
Speaking during the visit, Minister O’Dowd said: “I welcome the opportunity to be here today to mark the beginning of a new chapter in Irish-medium education in Kilkeel.
“The Irish language is an integral part of our rich and shared heritage and I take great pride in witnessing and being part of a sector that continues to thrive and grow educationally, socially and economically.”
The Minister continued by reiterating the importance of young children being allowed to develop their Irish language ability as soon as they can. He said: “Children learn through play, through friendships and through social and emotional relationships. Young children have a natural ability to learn and will immerse themselves in language from an early age.”
“I very much value the benefits that Irish-medium education offers children and I am confident that Gaelscoil na mBeann will play an important role in the promotion of the Irish language in the surrounding area.
“I wish everyone involved with the school happiness and success.”