Bunscoil Bheann Mhadagain

Department of Education (NI)

Client: Department of Education (NI)

Completion: June 2016

Value: £ 4.5m

Project Summary

Bunscoil Bheann Mhadagain is a new 5-classbase Irish-language Primary School on the Cliftonville Road, Belfast. With associated multi-purpose hall, administration offices, staff room and separate changing pavilion servicing a full sized GAA 3G synthetic pitch. This project was conceived as an ambitious collaboration between Belfast City Council and DENI in which the new primary school and the local GAA club would be developed on the same campus site so they could share external community sports facilities.

The new facilities replace an existing GAA grass pitch and temporary changing facilities. Enabling works involved the removal of Japanese Knotweed and asbestos from the site whilst piled concrete retaining walls resolved challenging levels. The new changing pavilion was linked to the school to allow for easy access by the pupils during the school day, however it was completely separate and stand-alone for evening and weekend community use. The school classrooms were designed to optimise natural daylight whilst ventilation was provided via mixed mode heat recovery as the most energy efficient solution.


The community benefits for this project are immediate and easily identified as follows:

  • It combined resources and budgets form various sources to provide a better value solution for both the school and local GAA club at reduced capital and operational costs
  • It provided a social focus for the community and clear identity for the new school
  • It provided enhanced sports and play provision for the pupils beyond the normal DENI allowances. This was very much appreciated by the school as the site was very restricted
  • It remediated a very serious infestation of Japanese Knotweed which was in danger of spreading into adjoining residential properties

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