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Some Tyrrelstown students will be back in class tomorrow, while parents say building still not suitable

St Lukes National School remains closed after structural defects were discovered last month.

The exterior of St Lukes National School in Dublin which has been closed due to safety concerns.
The exterior of St Lukes National School in Dublin which has been closed due to safety concerns.
Image: Sam Boal via Rollingnews

Updated Nov 7th 2018, 9:11 PM

SOME STUDENTS AT St Lukes National School in Tyrrelstown will return to class tomorrow at a local secondary school as their building “is still not suitable for the kids to be going into”, according to one parent. 

Parents of students were also told that third class and upwards will return to school tomorrow, leaving parents of younger children uncertain. 

St Lukes National School and Tyrrelstown Educate Together – as well a third building in Ballyfermot, Dublin – were closed after concerns were raised about their structural integrity. 

A meeting was held this morning for parents to inspect changes to the building after structural issues were identified last month.

However, speaking to The Last Word on Today FM, parent of one pupil, Lisa O’Hagan said: 

“The school from a parent’s perspective is still not suitable for the kids to be going into”.

O’Hagan told Matt Cooper that she attended a meeting at St Lukes this morning were her seven-year-old son is a student but found “a building site” on arrival and said she knew there was no way the children were going back.

“As soon as you walk into St Lukes there’s scaffolding up absolutely everywhere. In Oisin’s classroom, there were lights being held up with strings.” 

O’Hagan told Today FM that parents don’t know how long it will take to fix everything and that she walked away from the meeting today with “vague and incomplete answers”.

O’Hagan said that while no arrangements for younger pupils have been arranged, she had heard rumours that a number of primary schools in south Dublin could “potentially take the entire first class, about 110 pupils maybe”.

“The reality is you’re talking about bussing the kids across the M50 to the likes of Ballyfermot or Crumlin if them schools are available, and again that was not confirmed but was one of the options that we heard.”

The other option O’Hagan said parents heard was that first class students will be taught in the community centre, “altogether, four classes put into one.”

After this morning’s meeting, the school’s Board of Management plan to review the situation and make “an informed decision” on the reopening the school. 

We understand that it has been a very difficult time for parents and children in the Tyrrelstown community.

The school has said that it is still awaiting an official independent report regarding the Health & Safety of the internal changes made to the school.

‘Full information’

Yesterday, following a meeting between Department of Education officials and school authorities, it was announced that the schools will remain closed for at least two more days.

Both schools in Tyrrelstown were constructed by Western Building Systems (WBS). Forty two schools built by the company have since been examined for structural safety issues.

In a statement yesterday, WBS said that it welcomed the inquiry into the construction of schools and a wider review of the schools building programme.

However, the company has said that conclusions are being reached “before all perspectives are known.

“Committee members have not had the benefit of full information, not least the assessment reports from each of the schools reviewed.  

If an inquiry is to be credible, then it must be independent of the two main contracted parties to every school building project—the Department and the contractor.
The role of qualified professionals who certified and project managed the schools is also a consideration.”

With reporting from Cónal Thomas

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Adam Daly

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