Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Education, Thomas Byrne TD has said that the breaches found in fire safety at a number of primary schools nationwide are shocking and calls on the Minister and his Department to indicate the consequences for staff and students affected.

Fire safety audits commissioned by the Department of Education have found breaches of fire safety standards at five newly built primary schools in Dublin, Wicklow, and Mullingar.

Deputy Byrne said, “It’s disappointing that as we head into a new school year, it has been discovered that significant improvements must now be made to fire safety standards in primary schools nationwide.

“Nevertheless, it is absolutely crucial that these standards are adequately met and remedial works begin as a matter of urgency. The pupils and staff of these schools need to be fully protected and their safety must be ensured at whatever cost. 

“The Department must also clarify their full extent of knowledge regarding poor quality building standards in schools built across the country.

“It is essential that Fire Officers be allocated every resource necessary to accelerate the rate of inspection of all schools both post and primary, particularly the premises that were built as part of the rapid-build programme in 2008.

He concluded, “Now is the time for proactive, forward thinking before it’s too late.”