The Department of Education has confirmed that four new multi-denominational primary schools are to open in September.

The schools will open in counties Waterford, Meath, Mayo and Dublin under the patronage of Educate Together, who said it is delighted with the news.

The decision comes as talks continue between the department and school patrons over how to provide choice for parents in areas where school provision is limited mostly to Catholic provision only.

One year ago, the department identified 28 areas where there was a viable and immediate demand from parents for multi-denominational education.

They are all areas where most or all existing primary schools are Catholic, with some Church of Ireland provision.

Talks have been ongoing, mainly between the department and Catholic Church authorities, over how to divest or amalgamate existing schools to make way for new ones to cater for that demand.

Educate Together will open three schools initially in temporary premises in Tramore, Co Waterford, Trim in Co Meath, and Malahide in Dublin.

Minister for Education Ruairi Quinn said discussions were continuing with the main Catholic patrons in Tramore, Trim and a number of other areas to identify and secure permanent accommodation.

He said their engagement had so far been open and generous and he was sure that further progress could be achieved.

It is hoped the schools in Tramore and in Trim will move to be housed in existing Catholic school buildings by the following September, following local reorganisation of Catholic School provision

The school in Malahide is an additional school, to cater for demand for multi-denominational education as well as population growth.

In north Mayo, the Church of Ireland has agreed, along with parents, to transfer Newtownwhite National School near Ballina to Educate Together.