TD: sale of Piscatorial School would be shameful

The Piscatorial School beside Claddagh Church

A Galway TD has warned it would be ‘shameful’ if an historic building in Claddagh was sold to the highest bidder.

Deputy Catherine Connolly said this week there was a ‘wonderful opportunity’ for Galway in relation to the Piscatorial School in the Claddagh.

This building, which is owned by the Dominican Order, is currently on the market for sale, but Deputy Connolly said it would be shameful if the building was sold to the highest bidder for commercial purposes.

She has written to the Prior Provincial of the Dominican Order asking them to reconsider the decision to place the building on the open market to maximize the sale price.

“From so many perspectives,” said Deputy Connolly, “this is a very significant building for Galway and should be kept in public ownership.”

The school was founded by the Dominican Order in 1846 right in the middle of the Great Famine to educate the children of the Claddagh.

The boys were taught how to make and repair nets while the girls were shown how to sew and spin. Both boys and girls were also taught how to read and write.

It subsequently functioned as a primary school and, in more recent times, it housed the Social Welfare Offices and subsequently Youthreach under the auspices of what was the Galway Vocation Education Committee (VEC)

Given its value and significance to the City, it is now a listed building.

Deputy Connolly said in a year where Galway has just been awarded the European Capital of Culture 2020, it would be an obscenity for this wonderful building to be sold off to the highest bidder given its history, its heritage and its importance.

“It is essential that the Dominican Order reconsider their decision to sell the building in this manner given the valued position they hold in the community and the respect so deservedly earned by them over the years.”

The building is on the market for €500,000.