Fianna Fáil TD for Wicklow and East Carlow Stephen Donnelly says the announcement yesterday that Coláiste Ráithin and St. Philomena’s National School will remain closed until next September is simply not good enough.
Yesterday the National Development Finance Agency and Dutch Infrastructure Fund briefed representatives of the six schools impacted by the collapse of Carillion. They informed them that works are unlikely to start until May. The schools are now likely to open in September, a full 8 months after the collapse of Carillion.
Deputy Donnelly commented, “Recommencing works two months from now is simply not good enough. We are yet again in a situation where the pupils, parents, and staff of both Coláiste Ráithin and St. Philomena’s must wait. They have been waiting since November. The current timeline would mean their school is ready a full 6 months from now.
“Every day, I am contacted by parents and pupils who have very real concerns. Will their child have a place in September? Will their child be forced to spend more months in a damp, cold classroom? What rights will they have if the project runs into more difficulty? These are all good questions, and we should have the answers, but we don’t. Throughout this entire process, I have been shocked by the lack of contingency planning by this Government.
“When Minister Burton addressed the Dáil, his only concern seemed to be avoiding Government liability. The Government must take up responsibility for a solution. Young people in Wicklow will pay the price if he doesn’t.”