Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Cork 32CSM opposes the closure of the North Monastery school.

The Cork 32 county sovereignty movement would like to condemn the proposed closing down of the historic North Monastery School and its transition to another Irish speaking school. For many generations the North Monastery School has been a vital source of education, history and heritage for the people of the north side and further afield. Founded in 1811 the ‘North Mon’ as it is proudly known by generations of North side families would be a reflection of the history of not only the North side or not even Cork but the history of Ireland itself.

                During 1816 the school was temporarily used as a hospital during an outbreak of Typhus Fever. Around 1840 the North Mon had witnessed many great students including notable Poets, writers and was witness to a visit by Daniel O Connell with the schools patron Edmund Rice. . During the 1850’s another student by the name of John P. Holland, the inventor of the submarine, would also study at the school. But the most notable historic achievement of the North Mon for Republicans in Cork city, is the proud lineage of Irish Republicans who have come through the gates of the North Mon. Most Notably Cork I.R.A commandant Tomas Mc Curtain was a student of the North Mon and shortly after a surprise visit to the school where he addressed students in Irish, he was murdered in his home by British gunmen.  Cork I.R.A volunteer, Lord Mayor and Hunger Striker Terrence McSwiney, was also a student of the North Mon. Terrence succeeded as lord mayor after the murder of his friend Tomas Mc Curtain. Terrence died after 70 days on hunger strike in Brixton prison, England.

                 Cork I.R.A volunteers Dermot Crowley and Tony Ahern were past students of the North mon. Both members of the Cork Brigade of the I.R.A had went to Tyrone to take part in military operations against British forces under the command of another Cork man who was Officer Commanding of the famous East Tyrone Brigade. During 1973 both volunteers were killed in action six weeks apart from each other. Both men were good friends who lived near each other and had played hurling together in the North Mon.

                For generations up to the present day the North Mon has served as a vital source of education for the North side. To uproot a large amount of students and place those in the adjacent st. Vincent’s girl’s school which does not have adequate room, facilities our resources for such an influx of students will result in disastrous effects on the ability of students to receive a high standard of education. This will also result in a traditionally all boys and all-girls school being mixed against parents will and no doubt such a change will have negative effects for students who are used to their classes not being mixed. We call on the Edmund Rice trustee’s to consider the welfare of students present and future and to stop this transition. If the Irish speaking school seeks a new building with new facilities it should be constructed for them and not be removed to the detriment of hundreds of students from the North side area. The Cork 32 county sovereignty movement will support all and every measure of opposition to the schools closure. Beir Bua!

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