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  • Northside East

Department vows to support school devastated by fire

Monday, 21st October, 2019 8:00am
Department vows to support school devastated by fire

The scene at the school in Coolock. PHOTO: DUBLIN FIREBRIGADE

Department vows to support school devastated by fire

The scene at the school in Coolock. PHOTO: DUBLIN FIREBRIGADE

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THE Department of Education and Skills has vowed to support students and staff at a Northside school which was devastated by a fire last week. 

Minister Joe McHugh visited Scoil Chaitríona Chailíní in Mask Avenue, Coolock, last Wednesday following the blaze which destroyed a number of classrooms in the senior school and caused the roof to collapse. 

Minister McHugh saw first-hand the impact of the fire and spoke to the principal and school management.

“This is obviously a traumatic incident for all those connected to the school,” said Minister McHugh. 

“We will stay with the school community during this and we will help them get through this. 

“We will provide every assistance, first with information on options for the school and then with a plan to get children back into school.”

Meanwhile, a Department of Education and Skills spokesperson said a senior official liaised with principal and school management throughout the day. 

“A senior architect from the Department was also out at the school to assess the situation and met with the principals of both the Senior and Junior schools,” said the spokesperson. 

“The immediate focus is getting the schools back in operation as early as possible.

“A number of local schools have offered assistance in relation to helping with the immediate accommodation needs of Scoil Chaitríona Senior School.”

The spokesperson said Scoil Chaitríona Junior School was not damaged by fire but suffered some minor water damage. It remained closed for the remainder of the week.

“The school authorities are meeting and will be updating parents in the first instance on the accommodation arrangements,” the spokesperson added.

A spokesperson for the Garda Press Office told Northside People: “Gardai are investigating a fire which occurred at a school in Artane at approximately 6am on October 16. 

“No injuries occurred. A technical examination is taking place. 

“At this time the cause of the fire is not believed to be suspicious.  Investigations are ongoing.”

Dublin Bay North TD Tommy Broughan (Ind) said: “The whole Coolock/Artane community has always deeply appreciated the outstanding service of Scoil Chaitríona staff and community over many years. 

“They hope that the affected buildings will be urgently rebuilt and restored.

“I am now calling on Minister McHugh to urgently arrange accommodation for the affected pupils, including any temporary classroom provision, while the damaged buildings are reconstructed.”

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Richard Bruton TD extended his sympathies to the school and wider community of Scoil Chaitríona Cailíní following the fire. 

“I am shocked and saddened for the whole school community,” he said. 

“I would like to thank Dublin Fire Brigade who acted swiftly to contain and extinguish the fire.”

Dublin Bay North TD Seán Haughey (FF) said he will work with parents, the school principal, and staff at the school.

“I want to assure parents and staff at Scoil Chaitríona Cailíní that I will do all in my power to help and support the displaced students and I have already raised the matter with the Minister for Education at the school site this morning,” he said. 

“This fire has been a devastating incident for our local community.” 

Minister for Disabilities Finian McGrath said he was devastated for the pupils, staff and school community of Scoil Chaitriona Girls’ National School. 

Dublin Bay North TD Denise Mitchell (SF) said: “I want to express my relief that there were no students or staff on the premises at the time of the fire.

“I believe that there was one local resident taken to hospital as a precaution for smoke inhalation and I wish them a speedy recovery. 

“I want to thank the emergency services for ensuring that the damage was minimised.”

Senator Catherine Noone (FG) extended sympathies to all those affected. 

“This is a heart-breaking development,” she said.  

“I would also like to thank our courageous gardai and fire services who were quick to respond to the situation and brought the blaze under control.”

Scoil Chaitríona Chailíní was devastated in the blaze. PHOTO: DUBLIN FIREBRIGADE The emergency services worked heroically at the scene. PHOTO: DUBLIN FIREBRIGADE

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