Fianna Fáil Senator Denis O’Donovan has slammed the Education Minister for removing Summercove National School from the priority list for a new school building despite the fact it has been on this list for 12 years.
Senator O’Donovan commented: “Summercove National School has been on a priority list for a new school building for 12 years. The construction of the building has been delayed over problems with acquiring land and planning applications but all of a sudden the Minister has decided the students and teachers of the school don’t deserve a new building.
“I find this incredible and the Minister has offered no proper explanation for the decision which will devastate the teachers, management and hundreds of families who have been waiting patiently for a new school building. In one stroke of a pen the Minister undid all the years of hard work and preparation and reneged on the promise to construct the new school, which is a kick in the teeth for everyone connected.
“The school has expanded rapidly in the last 20 years and it now caters for over 200 pupils and 14 staff. The original school building only has 2 classrooms; there are now 10 prefabs that house the vast majority of students.
“Questions must also be asked of the role of Cork County Council in this. They have twice refused planning permission for the new school building on frivolous grounds. I find it hard to understand how they could refuse planning permission when the funding was in place. This is not good enough and ultimately it is the children attending the school that will lose out, which is a shame.
“I will fight tooth and nail with the Minister to reverse his decision and give the people of Kinsale the school they deserve. I also intend to raise this matter in the Seanad next week and force a debate on the issue.
“I am shocked at the conduct of the Minister and I would call on local representatives from the Government parties in Kinsale and West Cork to do the right thing and force the Minister into a reversal of this crazy decision.”