Cookies on Dublin People website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. We also use cookies to ensure we show you advertising that is relevant to you. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on the Dublin People website. However, if you would like to, you can change your cookie settings at any time by amending your browser settings.
How does Dublin People use cookies?
Cookies enable us to identify your device, or you when you have logged in. We use cookies that are strictly necessary to enable you to move around the site or to provide certain basic features. We use cookies to enhance the functionality of the website by storing your preferences, for example. We also use cookies to help us to improve the performance of our website to provide you with a better user experience.
We dont sell the information collected by cookies, nor do we disclose the information to third parties, except where required by law (for example to government bodies and law enforcement agencies).
Hide Message
  • Northside East

Concerns raised over condition of school 

Wednesday, 22nd November, 2017 8:00am
Concerns raised over condition of school 

Deputy Thomas Byrne (FF) and Senator Lorraine Clifford-Lee (FF), third from right, with local parents and staff during their visit to St Mologa’s National School, Balbriggan.

Concerns raised over condition of school 

Deputy Thomas Byrne (FF) and Senator Lorraine Clifford-Lee (FF), third from right, with local parents and staff during their visit to St Mologa’s National School, Balbriggan.

A NORTHSIDE senator has warned that the Government's failure to provide for the construction of a new building at a local school is having a detrimental impact on the education of its pupils. 

However, the Department of Education and Skills has told Northside People a building project for St Mologa’s National School, Balbriggan, is included in its Six-Year Capital Programme (2016-2021).

Senator Lorraine Clifford-Lee (FF) brought her party’s education spokesperson Thomas Byrne to Balbriggan recently to hear concerns over conditions at the school. 

“Years on since the need for essential building works at St Molaga’s was first raised, over half of pupils are being educated in unsuitable and poor standard prefab accommodation,” said Senator Clifford-Lee. 

“This was originally flagged as a temporary solution. 

Almost two decades on, a greater population and a rising demand for the upgrading of the school building and no progress has been made to support the school's growing numbers.

“I felt it was particularly important for Deputy Thomas Byrne to visit the school with me to gain an insight into the poor quality conditions being endured by so many staff and students on a daily basis.

"We were both glad to have the opportunity to meet with school principal Pauline Costello, teachers and parents to hear about further problems that are coming down the track.”

Senator Clifford-Lee said a timeline for the construction of a new school building must be urgently drawn up for development to get underway in the immediate future and “put an end to the detrimental impact being felt by the whole school community in St Molaga's”.

“I raised the matter directly with the Minister for Education Richard Bruton during (a) debate in Seanad Éireann and I will continue to press on the issue in my capacity as senator over the coming weeks,” she added.

In a statement, the Department of Education and Skills said a building project for St Mologa’s National School, Balbriggan, is included in the its Six-Year Capital Programme (2016-2021).

“The project for St Molaga’s National School is primarily to replace existing temporary accommodation with permanent accommodation,” the spokesperson told Northisde People.  

“In that regard the Department is currently preparing the project brief.  This process will include consultation with the relevant stakeholders, which includes the school authorities and the school patron, regarding the extent of the accommodation required to meet the needs of the school.  

“The completion of the project brief will facilitate the project to be progressed into architectural planning, which includes the appointment of a design team.”

The spokesperson added that the Department will be in contact with the school in due course to arrange a site visit. Meanwhile, local senator James Reilly (FG) also raised the urgent issue in the Dail recently. 

“Over half the children and teachers are forced to work and study in prefab buildings,” he said.  

This has been ongoing for 17 years as a ‘temporary measure?”

Senator Reilly and Cllr Tom O’Leary (FG) visited the teachers’ representative Jeanine Leonard and met the school’s Principal Pauline Costello to discuss the matter further.

“Currently there are 240 students in these prefabs,” he said. “They are forced in all weather conditions to leave their classrooms to attend learning support classes, PE classes, choir rehearsals etc.” 

Senator Reilly is calling on Minister Bruton to give a clear timeline as to when this issue will be resolved. 

Read the digital editions of the Dublin People Northside East, Northside West & Southside here