Written answers

Wednesday, 20 May 2020

Department of Education and Skills

Schools Property

Marc Ó Cathasaigh (Waterford, Green Party)
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386. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the status of a school building (details supplied) which has been empty since the opening of another school; his plans for the development of the school; the nature of the plans; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6906/20]

Photo of Joe McHughJoe McHugh (Donegal, Fine Gael)
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The property referred to by the Deputy is not in my ownership.

When State monies are provided to facilitate building works to school property owned by a third party, a legal mechanism is put in place in order to protect the State's interest. This is known as a Charging Lease or Declaration of Trust. These leases protect the Minister's capital investment in the school property and require that the property be used as a school for a set period.

I can confirm that as I am not party to a charging lease or a Declaration of Trust on the property referred to by the Deputy  I do not have a vested interest in the property.

I would advise that any enquiry regarding the future use of the building should be made to the landowner in the first instance.

Marc Ó Cathasaigh (Waterford, Green Party)
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387. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the status of a school building (details supplied) which has been empty since the opening of another school; his plans for the development of the school; the nature of the plans; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6907/20]

Photo of Joe McHughJoe McHugh (Donegal, Fine Gael)
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When a school building becomes vacant as a result of closure/amalgamation/replacement, the future use of the old building is in the first instance a matter for the property owner. When the property owner applies to the Minister for permission to either use the property for community purposes or to sell it, my Department makes an assessment as to whether the property is required for future educational use.  If it is concluded that the property has no viable future educational use, my

Department permits that it may be used for community or other purposes or may be sold.   

I wish to advise the Deputy that the former school that he refers to operates under ERST – the Trustee body responsible for schools formally under the Trusteeship of Christian Brothers.

The Department has no lien on this building, therefore the future use of the building for educational purposes will be contingent on the Terms and Conditions of the Trust and the willingness of the Trust to Lease/Sell the premises to the Minister. In general Trusts are prohibited from disposing of properties for less than market values.

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