Seanad debates

Wednesday, 7 February 2024

Nithe i dtosach suíonna - Commencement Matters

School Accommodation

1:00 pm

Photo of Garret AhearnGarret Ahearn (Fine Gael) | Oireachtas source

I thank the Minister of State. She took my line exactly. It is always good to have a connection to a school and her son taught there. The principal is from Ferrybank in Waterford so there is another connection that way. I will say, and the Minister touched on this herself, from the point the approval was made in February 2020 to the point when construction happens, we will have students in Clonmel who will have gone through CBS High School without ever seeing any construction from when it was announced.In my view, that is not an ideal situation. It is not fair to the kids, it is not fair to parents, and it is certainly not fair to the staff who are delivering a service of such high quality in facilities that are good, but that we have promised will be improved.

I recognise that extra funding of €144,000 was given in June 2023, essentially for ventilation upgrade works. That is good and it was increased to €5 million. However, the longer the wait to build this, the more it will cost. The fear in the school is that they will have to go back to the Department to say that there are increased costs because of the delay in construction.

I thank the Minister of State for taking a take a keen interest in this and for taking it back to the Minister, Deputy Foley. Yet, we cannot have a situation where kids in Clonmel will go through a full five or six years in school without ever seeing any construction on this when a promise was made in 2020.


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