Arranmore Island off the coast of Donegal has two primary schools but no secondary school.

With around nine hundred residents, the population of Arranmore is actually increasing. Evidence of the population growth can be found in the new twelve unit local authority housing scheme on the island. The growing population of islanders have begun a campaign to have a secondary school built on the island.

While Arranmore has two busy national schools, it does not have a secondary school.

The Loretto College in Milford, twelve miles from Letterkenny on the mainland is one of the destinations for island youngsters when they complete primary school. The college has seven hundred students including eighty boarders, twenty four from Arranmore. The Arranmore boarders return to the island just once a month to visit their families.

The school currently offers weekend accommodation for pupils from Arranmore but this is to end for new students who will only be able to stay from Monday to Friday.

This situation, along with a poor and unreliable ferry service, makes life for Arranmore students travelling to the mainland even more challenging.

Parents on Arranmore have now come together to demand the provision of a bilingual community school on the island.

They're not prepared to tolerate a situation whereby the youngsters have to make the return journey to the mainland every weekend.

A spokesperson for the parent's committee outlines the dangers that the children face travelling by boat from the island.

Nora Flanagan, who has two daughters aged three and five, says she would have second thoughts about sending her children to a secondary school on the mainland due to the dangers they are exposed to at sea and the homesickness.

I would feel very reluctant to send my children to school on the mainland.

The campaign has the support of the local curate and public representatives.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 24 October 1984. The reporter is Tommie Gorman.