Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Education and Skills Thomas Byrne TD has criticised the Government over its failure to get to grips with its own annual plans for the construction of new schools across Ireland over the last five years.
Construction is yet to even start on 5 schools which were first announced in 2013. Substantially more schools were due to start building in each year since. Deputy Byrne is calling on the Government to bring forward an emergency plan to ensure construction on these schools gets underway without any further delay.
Deputy Byrne said, “This Government likes to launch ambitious plans, but often fails to follow through with tangible action. This is clearly evident by the fact that 5 schools which were first announced in 2013 are yet to be delivered. Every year since and the number is bigger.
Furthermore, three years in and dozens of schools announced by Government in their 2015 school building plan don’t even have sites found yet. Many of these schools are operating in deplorable conditions and some are even situated some distance from the communities they’re supposed to serve.
“I am calling for an emergency school building plan, which needs to be funded, to be implemented to deal with the schools already announced by Fine Gael, before they move on to a new ten year plan. In addition, I am calling for the Department to meet every school which has already been announced, in order to let the schools know exactly what is happening and when they will start to be built.
“It would be more in the interest of this Government to deliver on its previous commitments rather than announcing projects to be delivered over the next 30 years. Minister Bruton needs to knuckle down and ensure he delivers on the commitments his Government has made to date.”