Up To 40 Schools Facing Closure As Safety Assessment Continues
A number of schools have shown an 80% chance of a wall falling out following a structural review.
The Minister for Education Joe McHugh says as many as 40 schools may be forced to close due to building defects.
Minister McHugh says students, parents and teachers should know by the end of midterm if their school has to close.
Two more schools in Dublin failed to open their doors today after an audit uncovered structural problems with the buildings.
The Tyrrelstown Educate Together and St Luke’s National School have been asked to remain closed.
It follows the closure earlier this week of one of the buildings at Ardgillan Community College over serious safety concerns.
All the buildings were constructed by Western Building Systems (WBS).
After the Argillan issues were identified, the Government ordered an audit of 30 buildings constructed by WBS.
Ardgillan Community College
The Government yesterday confirmed that audit has been expanded to include all 40 projects the firm was involved in.
Speaking in the Dáil yesterday, the Taoiseach described the situation as “truly disgraceful,” noting that it “certainly appears that corners were cut back in the Celtic tiger period when it comes to the building of some of these schools.”
He said the safety audit should be complete by mid-November.
In a statement, Western Building Systems said its school projects have always passed compliance inspections in the past – and offered to meet with the Department of Education to discuss how it can help with the investigation.
St Luke's National School In Tyrrelstown
This morning, the Fianna Fáil education spokesperson Thomas Byrne said plans must now be put in place for the students affected.
“it is extremely worrying,” he said.
“As I said in the Dáil last night, it sends a shiver downs the nation’s spine when you hear the details.
“I think the Department has done the right thing in putting the safety of the children first.
“It also has to do the right thing by making sure that those children affected have somewhere to go to school, certainly after the mid-term break.
“And make sure that these problems don’t exist anywhere else.”
The Department of Education has said it aims to provide interim accommodation for all affected students by early November.