Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Education Thomas Byrne TD has called on Minister Richard Bruton to explain why his department is seeking an additional €136m in funding from the exchequer.

Deputy Byrne made the comments following revised estimates provided to TDs which outlined figures but gave away little in the way of detail on the purposes for which the money is required. Media reports have subsequently painted a picture of the Department of Education and Skills running out of money to progress key school infrastructure projects.

“Minister Bruton has requested an additional €136m from the exchequer. This points to a serious funding shortfall within the Department and the Minister needs to set out why this issue has arisen.

“I intend to question Minister Bruton vigorously at the Oireachtas Committee this week which will deal with this matter. I’m surprised that no advance notice was provided to Fianna Fáil in relation to this.

“We can’t afford to have another Department continuously running over budget as has been the case within the Department of Health,” concluded Deputy Byrne.