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Dublin: 8 °C Saturday 25 January, 2020

10 more schools inspected over potential structural problems

Work on some of the schools will be carried out next week so the buildings can reopen after the midterm break.

Ardgillan Community College in Balbriggan
Ardgillan Community College in Balbriggan
Image: Eamonn Farrell/

A NUMBER OF school buildings inspected following concerns about potential structural problems will reopen after the midterm break.

The Department of Education and Skills confirmed that inspections of 10 further schools built by Western Building Systems (WBS) began yesterday (42 schools are being inspected in total).

Engineers on site gathered information which was referred back to their headquarters for further assessment. The assessment remains ongoing in relation to four of the 10 schools.

Yesterday the department confirmed that the ground floors of Tyrrelstown Educate Together National School and St Luke’s National School will be operational by 5 November.

Arrangements have also been put in place to ensure that Ardgillan Community College in Balbriggan will be able to accommodate all students when it reopens after the midterm break.

The outcome of the assessments carried out yesterday enable five of the 10 schools to reopen fully after the midterm break. These schools are as follows:

  • Luttrellstown Community College
  • Gaelscoil Shliabh Rua, Dublin 18
  • Broombridge Educate Together National School
  • Scoil Choilm, Porterstown
  • Scoil Chaitlín Maude, Tallaght

In the case of one of the above schools, Scoil Chaitlín Maude, external structural issues were identified and will require intervention in the form of a fence around the school building and some protective decking. This will be put in place during the course of the midterm break, the department spokesperson said. 

‘Appropriate solution’ 

The structural assessment of Gaelscoil Eiscir Riada in Lucan identified structural issues which require both external and internal intervention. Gaelscoil Eiscir Riada is a 16-classroom primary school with a current enrolment of 454 pupils.

“An appropriate engineering solution, to be implemented during the midterm break, will allow the ground floor of this building to reopen after the break,” the spokesperson said. 

The interim accommodation team in the Department of Education and Skills is “working with the school principal and patron to put in place an off-site interim accommodation solution for the remaining classes with a view to ensuring that all classes can be accommodated when the school reopens on 5 November”.

Further assessments are continuing today and a further update will be provided tomorrow. 

WBS, the construction company which built the schools, yesterday said it has only been invited to visit four of the 42 schools identified as needing assessment, and called for a meeting with Education Minister Joe McHugh.

The company has questioned why the Department of Education previously gave the green light to the buildings in question. 

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Órla Ryan

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