Education Minister Says Latest School Building Defects Controversy Is An “Absolute Injustice”

Written 6 days ago by Newsroom

Structural problems have been identified at school buildings in the midlands.

Two schools in Laois and Westmeath will need temporary works in the coming weeks to ensure they are safe to reopen this month.

Education Minister Joe McHugh will be in Tullamore this morning to provide an update.

Mullingar Educate Together National School and Maryborough National School, Portlaoise are among the 17 that need works.

The buildings were constructed by Western Building Systems, the same company that built 22 other schools where defects were discovered last year.

The 17 schools were cleared for use last October and November, after limited assessments found no requirement for any precautionary measures to be put in place.

Engineers have now carried out detailed assessments and have advised that permanent remediation work is required in each of the schools.

Temporary measures such as scaffolding and safety fencing are being put in place in parts of some of the schools, to ensure they are safe for pupils and staff to return to at the end of the month.

The necessary works will be carried over the summer break both next year and in 2021.

The Education Minister says the latest school building defects controversy is an “absolute injustice” for school communities.

Speaking in Tullamore, Minister Joe McHugh says lessons will be learned from the latest scandal:

But the Education Minister says he won’t reveal how much it will cost to fix the structural issues on the schools as they’re currently in the Commerical Courts.

The Department began court proceedings against Western Building Systems in 2018.

Minister Joe McHugh says additional money will be used to complete the work:

Fianna Fail’s Education spokesperson Thomas Byrne says he hopes term-time won’t be impacted by the works: