Every Vote counts in local Gorey context for new Secondary School. 


Wexford people have historically always had a deep fascination with American politics. 

Perhaps the fact that one of the greatest American politicians of the 20th century – John F Kennedy – is a descendent of one of our own has contributed to that interest.

And so, these last few days, we’ve turned our attention with real interest to what is happening across the pond in the United States. Many of us have stayed up watching coverage of the counts, we’ve tuned into Twitter feeds and have become experts on that magic number of 270 electoral college votes!   

And, regardless of who you were rooting for to win, the calls to protect and honour American democracy have struck a chord with us here in Ireland.  

Count every vote!  Every vote matters! 

These are cries with which we can all connect at some level as people living in another, albeit smaller, much younger and very different kind of democracy.

Interestingly as the election results unfold in the USA, there is another election of sorts that will interest Gorey residents just as much.  

Just three weeks ago – to the great relief of many in the town and surrounding area – the Department of Education and Skills announced that Gorey would be getting a new, state of the art secondary school, in 2021.  

This is long awaited and much needed.  

Perhaps the most interesting part of this development is that the Department of Education has handed the decision as to who would run this school to parents; the parents in the area – and hinterland – who have children in 2nd to 6th class in local primary schools. 

Clare Ryan CEO of one of the Educational Trust’s (CEIST) hoping to run the new school, “This is an awesome responsibility that these parents have been given; because their decision will have a deep impact not only on their own children’s lives but on the lives of future generations of children living in the town and surrounding areas.  It really is a once in a lifetime opportunity to really impact on the educational landscape of the town, so we’d really encourage parents to choose really carefully; it’s huge”.

On Thursday (5th November) – in line of course with government health advice and restrictions – a virtual open evening for parents in Gorey was held by CEIST.  See – https://vimeo.com/475172450/ba82f95ac2

Clare Ryan again, “We were completely blown away by the level of interest in the kind of high quality, state of the art Catholic secondary school we’re seeking to offer to the town. The support has come through the local primary schools obviously and we’re really grateful to the principals and teachers, parents and young people who’ve gotten behind our efforts.  The local clergy have also been really marvellous. Parents want the kind of superb school our Trust is offering and they’re taking their role as arbitors of this decision for the town extremely seriously.  It was incredibly heartening to be part of it.”  

CEIST is patron of 107 Catholic post primary schools and co-patron of 34 Community schools and Community Colleges. 

Ferns Diocesan Secretary Fr John Carroll, puts it very simply, “What we want parents to do now is simply exercise their vote; every vote counts and every vote will matter.  From our perspective here in the Diocese the worst thing would be if parents said – after the fact – that they hadn’t heard about it, or didn’t realise they had the choice in this; that would be a terrible tragedy really and unworthy of the current Department of Education’s patronage process.  So I’d be encouraging every eligible parent to get out and vote; do your research, go to the various websites of the various patrons and see what resonates with you and your family.  Think also what’s best for the town into the future.”

Clare Ryan and Fr John Carroll are clearly keen that parents – when they do vote – they vote for CEIST. 

Clare Ryan again, “Excellence in terms of our care of students and excellence in terms of our results for students is the hallmark of all we do. Gorey doesn’t have a Catholic school in the town and the people of Gorey deserve to have one.  In all of the CEIST schools in Wexford, our schools offer students ‘a home away from home’.  Each and every student is known by their name.  Our school in Gorey will have 600 students and that means the principal, the senior leadership team and all the teachers will know and care for your child in a very unique way.  We get the very best out of our students because of our care; we’re really an excellent product and we stand over the quality of what we offer now to Gorey.”  

At the time of going to print (Thursday 5th November), the results of the US elections are slowly unfolding.  And here in Gorey a rather different kind of election will produce its own results. 

Every vote will be counted, so every vote really counts!

For more information of CEIST’s bid, go to www.ceist.ie  where you’ll also find a link to vote.  You’ll need your Eircode and your child’s PPS number.  Good luck to all involved!