Clarity on timeline needed on delivery of 58 school building projects
Labour education spokesperson Aodhán Ó Ríordáin has called for a timeline to be published by the Department of Education on the anticipated delivery of the 58 school building projects as announced today.
Under questioning from Labour leader Ivana Bacik the Taoiseach confirmed that these projects would be delivered this year. however, Deputy Ó Ríordáin noted that in the press statement issued today, no details were published on where the capital to deliver the programme would come from.
Deputy Ó Ríordáin said:
“Call me a cynic, but this latest move from the Department slaps as a PR exercise rather than a commitment to delivery.
“Last week, the Labour Party put forward a motion to Government to prioritise the delivery of these desperately needed school projects. Today, we see a missive issued from the Department responding to our calls, but with little to no detail attached.
“We need to understand what level of communication has been provided to the schools impacted, and what timelines have been put in place to ensure efficient delivery of the projects.
“The statement fails to clarify if funding will come from the current capital expenditure or if this funding will have to be negotiated and agreed in advance of October’s Budget. The 58 schools impacted must have a clear answer on this. If it the latter, delivery will be kicked further and further down the line.
“The delays in these projects are unacceptable, and it’s a shame that it took a Labour Party motion for Fianna Fáil to see the wood for the trees on this issue.
“Nationwide, school communities are under enormous pressure to accommodate local children who need a place for September. In my own constituency of Dublin Bay North every year we have parents scrambling for places in primary and secondary schools particularly across the northern fringe of Balgriffin, Clongriffin and Baldoyle. These delays can only exacerbate this problem.”