A fledgling Irish school in Crumlin has come under pressure to remove its school sign after claims that some locals might find it “offensive”.
Gaelscoil Naomh Iosaef opened its doors just last September in the parish hall beside St Joseph’s chapel on the Glenavy Road.
The hall is used by up to twenty different clubs, youth groups and privately-run businesses. But not all are happy with the Bunscoil’s sign — which is in Irish — and there have been demands to remove it from the outside of the building.
Now, outraged parents whose children attend the bunscoil and feeder nursery school Naíonra Ghleann Darach in the village have told the Andersonstown News they’re being treated like second-class citizens.
Brendan Fleeton, father of five-year-old Michaela, said parents are very angry at the way the school has been treated.
“Parents are unhappy at the way we have been treated. It’s a human rights issue and we feel our rights are not being taken into consideration.
“We are not trying to shove our views down anyone else’s throat but it is an Irish school and so the sign should be in Irish.
“I feel as though we are being classed as second class citizens in Crumlin and our beliefs are not being taken seriously,” he said.
School principle Orla Ní Chuathail said the sign was not meant to offend anyone.
“This is not an offensive sign — it simply states the name of our school in Irish.
“There are a lot of misconceptions about our school in Crumlin: some people think we just teach Irish but we are a bi-lingual school, we teach our children English as well as Irish.”
Parish priest Fr Luke McWilliams said the sign hadn’t been authorised. “This is a very delicate situation,” he said yesterday.
“We are very happy to have the Irish language promoted but this sign isn’t authorised,” he said. “There are many people who use this hall and they may feel uncomfortable thinking that the entire facility is run by the Bunscoil.”