scoil nua

Rotting floors and fungus on the walls: These students want an end to learning in prefabs

Pupils, parents and teachers demand a new school after 21 years of promises. / YouTube

FUNGUS ON THE walls, rotting floors, and no running water or toilets in the winter.

These are just some of the complaints from pupils, teachers and parents of Gaelscoil Chnoc Liamhna in Dublin, a school made up of 236 pupils learning out of 16 prefabs.

The crowds, which gathered outside the Dáil with their posters and placards this afternoon, said they have been calling for a new, permanent school for over 21 years.

“We have been waiting for 21 years, it is not fair on the kids, it really isn’t. We had to repair all the floors and ceilings there – we are just throwing money into a money pit,” said Claire Groarke, who added she is concerned about the environment the children are learning in.


“In 2015 they [the government] made a commitment that no school would have prefabs for more than two years. We’ve had them for 21 years. It’s not good enough. We all work, we all pay our taxes and our children are completely neglected,” said Aoife O’Grady.

IMG_9950 Pupils gathered outside Leinster House today from Gaelscoil Chnoc Liamhna. Christina Finn Christina Finn

As the young students chanted the words “scoil nua, scoil nua” a number of politicians gathered to talk to parents and teachers outside the gates of Leinster House today.

However, O’Grady said they have heard many promises from politicians in the past.

“They asked for us to vote for them, we voted and we still got no school. They will be coming to our doors soon enough and they will be hearing from us again. We aren’t going away, we are here for the long run.

“We have students who are doing a Masters now that were promised a school with bricks, and it hasn’t happened. We need a timeline now, some commitment from the Department of Education, and we are not getting anything.”

IMG_9947 Pupils gathered outside Leinster House today from Gaelscoil Chnoc Liamhna. Christina Finn Christina Finn

The Department of Education said the project will move on to the architectural plans phase, adding that it is on the school projects list for 2019-2021.

However, parents said that is too long to wait.

“We wouldn’t work in those conditions, Richard Bruton wouldn’t work in those conditions,” concluded O’Grady, who said they would continue with their fight.

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