Concerns expressed by An Foras Pátrúnachta as school building projects delayed
An Foras Pátrúnachta have expressed their disappointment after talks with The Department of Education on Tuesday, 7th March, in which they were informed that 58 school building projects would be postponed due to financial pressures, including 5 schools under An Foras Pátrúnachta.
Proposals for permanent buildings whose construction was due to begin soon have now officially been delayed.
The five projects in Foras schools that have been postponed are: Gaelscoil an Inbhir Mhóir (Arklow), Gaelscoil na gCeithre Máistrí (Donegal Town), Gaelscoil Lir (Saggart), Gaelscoil Phádraig (Ballybrack) agus Gaelscoil Eois (Clones).
General Secretary of An Foras Pátrúnachta, Caoimhín Ó hEaghra, said: “We are really disappointed because of these delays. This is an exceptional circumstance for schools to find themselves in, some of which have been waiting for many years in temporary accommodation.
This delay will put a lot of pressure on these schools which have been struggling with a lack of suitable accommodation for a long time. The development that was planned for them is badly needed and we have asked the Department to make every effort to obtain additional funding and start the construction work.
Every school should have permanent accommodation but Gaelscoil Pádraig is an example of a school that has been in prefabricated buildings from day one. That was 27 years ago. This is a school that has been neglected. The state must ensure that this neglect does not continue.”
Cian Ó Cuanacháin, principalof Gaelscoil an Inbhir Mhóir,said that “ the Department’s decision on this is wholly unacceptable.” Gaelscoil an Inbhir Mhóir has been in temporary buildings for 25 years. Ó Cuanacháin said that “immediate assurance is needed that their move in date won’t be delayed” because of this wait.”
An Foras Pátrúnachta understands that the Department of Education is now in talks with the Department of Public Expenditure NDP Delivery and Reform to find a solution in the short term to provide funding for construction. Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said that they hope to have resolved the issue by Easter.
“We hope that these discussions will have a positive outcome. Schools are already waiting too long for permanent accommodation. The current situation is not fair on these school communities.” said Ó hEaghra.