Thursday, 5 March 2020
Department of Defence
Defence Forces Properties
35. To ask the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the status of engagement between his Department and the Department of Education and Skills on the site selection process for a new school build (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3909/20]
The provision of schools and associated issues is, in the first instance, a matter for my colleague the Minister for Education and Skills.
The lands in the area of the Defence Forces Training Centre form part of the Curragh Plains, a site unique in terms of its archaeological, environmental, historical and cultural heritage.
As custodian of the Curragh Plains, my Department is very aware of the competing challenges faced in relation to conservation of the land and requests for portions of the land to be made available for various reasons and particularly the demographic pressures on schools in the Kildare area.
The Department of Education and Skills wrote to my Department enquiring as to the availability of a suitable site for the provision of a post-primary school from within the Department's property portfolio in South Kildare.
As the Curragh contains an operational military installation, officials from my Department recently received a very detailed report from the military authorities on the wide-ranging implications of the request, and I am advised that my officials are currently considering the response received.