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ERST Informed of Full Proposals by Congregation of Christian Brothers

The Edmund Rice Schools Trust (ERST) confirmed that it has been informed that the Congregation of Christian Brothers plans to sell 7.5 acres of land to the rear of Clonkeen College in Blackrock to meet the €10 million final cash installment of the Congregation’s voluntary financial commitments to the State.

This is in addition to the Congregation’s intentions to start the process of transferring playing fields attached to schools nationally to the Trust for use by children, young people and communities into the future, which was reported over the weekend past.

It is understood that the Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton TD is aware of both elements of the Congregation’s proposal.

Under the Congregation’s proposal, the Congregation will transfer the Playing Fields attached to the schools to the Edmund Rice Schools Trust, who will hold the Playing Fields in trust for the schools.  In addition, 50% of the net sale of the proceeds of any Playing Field sold in the future will be offered to the State. 

In addition, the Congregation has said that it will sell just over 7.5 acres of land to the rear of Clonkeen College in Blackrock, Co. Dublin. 

The decision to sell this land has been taken solely by the Congregation of Christian Brothers.  The ERST Board of Directors has always been clear that this decision is the responsibility of the Congregation.  ERST does not own the land in question.  It was not ERST’s choice or decision to sell it.

ERST fully appreciates the importance of playing fields for schools, and obviously ERST would prefer that no school should lose its adjoining playing fields.  In the case of the school in question, ERST will continue its efforts to ensure that the Congregation’s proposed sale impacts as little as possible on the school. 

As part of the proposal for Clonkeen, ERST understands that the Congregation has informed the school Board of Management that it proposes to donate:

  • 3.5 acres of land, valued at approximately €7.5m.
  • €1 million for the development of sports facilities, as the school requires.
  • €300,000 to cover the school’s contribution to developments at the school.

There will be no change to the use of the land adjoining Clonkeen by the school until after Summer 2018 at the earliest.

As part of the Congregation’s sale, the ERST office will also have to be demolished. The Congregation has a reserved right of way over this site and ERST cannot oppose it.  ERST has therefore agreed to dispose of its office building in conjunction with the Congregation’s sale.  ERST is obliged to realise market value, at least, for the disposal of all assets, including the ERST offices.  These proceeds will be used for the good of the 37,000 pupils attending its 95 schools.

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