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Pat Ramsey: school plans put Derry back 30 years

An SDLP Assembly Member has said decisions about school closures in Londonderry will mean that the River Foyle will once again be a sectarian boundary for schools.

Pat Ramsey said Department of Education plans to move the only post-primary Protestant grammar school, Foyle College, across the river to the Waterside will have a community impact.

He said: "Parents who have approached me feel that if the school closes we will be moving back 30 years, with Catholics being taught on the west bank of the city and Protestants on the east.

"We have worked for many years to devalue the Foyle as a barrier, now we are looking at the possibility of it becoming a boundary where children of Catholic and Protestant faith will be educated largely apart."

Mr Ramsey is due to present a petition today to the DUP Assembly Speaker William Hay, who represents the area, highlighting the opposition to the planned closure of Immaculate Conception College in the city's Waterside.

"Immaculate Conception is the last Catholic post-primary school on the Waterside," he said.

"It's closure would be catastrophic to the local community."

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