Dear Avoca members and past pupils of Avoca School/ Newpark Comprehensive,
As you may know, the Education Minister Ruairi Quinn TD announced last month that the long-awaited new building for Newpark School is to be delayed until 2015/2016.
This is despite the fact that planning permission has been granted, the project has been placed on the e-tenders website, and the Department had said just weeks earlier that the project was to proceed as planned this year.
This decision needs to be reversed, and quickly.
We are starting a focused campaign of political pressure and lobbying of local political representatives, to get this decision changed, and we need the support of the Newpark and extended Avoca community – past pupils, players, parents, families, users, and supporters.
This is very urgent, as our architect is finalising tender documents for submission by the end of April, with an approval deadline of mid-June.
We need as many people as possible to contact their political representatives – by phone, email or direct meeting. Going to clinics is the most effective, while time-consuming, but a personal letter with a home address (showing you live in the constituency of the local TD you are writing to), is also effective.
We are providing a briefing note to give you the background to this issue, and details of why the school community cannot wait any longer for this overdue new school. The details of this are here.
We are also providing a list of public representatives in the catchment area. Many parents of current pupils have already attended local TD clinics to express their concerns at the delay of the project. However, we now need the extended school community to support our campaign by writing to their local TD's .
Contact details of the public representatives are here.
We will be targeting the public representatives across the constituencies from which the student population is drawn, in particular Eamon Gilmore TD, Tanaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs, and Mary Mitchell O’Connor, Fine Gael TD. We are appealing to you, each and every past pupil, club member, player, supporter, parent or guardian, to contact both of these TDs in the first instance, and your own public representative in addition.
We are asking you to do this by May 14th, less than two weeks away. This is the best way for our joint efforts to have the greatest impact. Just think about it – a mail bag of several hundred letters in one week cannot be ignored.
After that, if we have an inadequate response from our politicians, we will increase the pressure via a public meeting and other events throughout May.
Please, on behalf of our school and the extended Newpark and Avoca Community, do help us to have this decision reversed by contacting your representatives by May 14th, and expressing your frustration and sense of urgency around this issue.
(School Principal and Chair of Strategy Group)