Seanad debates

Wednesday, 27 September 2023

Nithe i dtosach suíonna - Commencement Matters

School Accommodation

10:00 am

Photo of Aisling DolanAisling Dolan (Fine Gael) | Oireachtas source

Eglish National School is trying to get a bus to bring 23 children to school. It co-ordinated and got letters from principals from the surrounding schools, so it is not just Ballinasloe urban area and the three primary schools there. Scoil Náisiúnta Naomh Treasa in Killure, County Galway, St. Catherine's National School in Aughrim, County Galway, Newtown National School in Creagh, County Roscommon, St. Augustine's National School in Clontuskert, County Galway, and St. Ciaran's National School in Moore, County Roscommon, cannot take those children in. These schools are oversubscribed and have indicated that to the Department of Education.

Fifteen of the 23 children in Eglish National School are from a Traveller background. I spoke this morning with the refugee resettlement support worker in Galway County Council who is trying to bring two refugee families into Ballinasloe.In one family, the father has a job but the mother cannot drive. I am at a loss. She cannot get a place for those children in Ballinasloe town. That is as of this morning. I know we are speaking here about a five year plan. I am aware it is not the Minister of State’s area but I do not see this plan and I am asking for her support. We need a high-level meeting between the principals of these schools, the education welfare officers who are now within Tusla and with the Ministers and senior officials within the Department of Education. There needs to be a plan for schools in a 10 km radius as well as in the town of Ballinasloe and that is not there at the moment.


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