Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Education, Thomas Byrne TD has called on the Minister for Education, Joe McHugh to urgently complete the outstanding fire safety audits which were commissioned over a year ago.
Byrne said, “One year on from the Fire Safety Audit it is my understanding that just six final reports have been completed in relation to the fifty-five schools nationwide identified for audit.
“I understand also that reports regarding the fire safety of nine of the fifty-five schools audited, have not be submitted to the Department.
“These structural flaws identified through the audit process pose a real risk to pupils in effected schools. Based on this information, can the Minister guarantee the safety of school children?
“To be categorically clear, the series of structural issues identified in a number of schools this week are entirely separate matters. First the shortfalls in fire safety measures were discovered and now we learn there is serious safety concerns regarding internal structural defects.
“It has been 12 months since this issue first came to light – there is no reasonable or adequate explanation as to why or indeed how, there are still forty fire safety audits left to get underway.
“Taking shortcuts in construction or with the necessary measures to ensure fire prevention is risking the lives of children. It is incredibly unsettling to consider that it could have very well been an accident or injury that exposed these deficits,” he concluded.