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Minister must act immediately on unsound conditions in Ardgillan Community School - Clifford-Lee

- State needs to examine shortcuts taken during construction in 2006 by the construction company -

Fianna Fáil Seanad Spokesperson on Justice, Children and Youth Affairs, Senator Lorraine Clifford-Lee has said that the Minister for Education must immediately act on providing suitable temporary accommodation for the staff and students of Ardgillan Community College, Balbriggan.

The Fingal based Senator was commenting following confirmation that management have been forced to close 18 classrooms in the school while transition year students have been told to remain at home because of the ongoing safety concerns with the building.

She said, “This is an extreme situation and one that requires urgent intervention from the Minister. In this day and age it’s hard to fathom how this has happened and how such serious structural issues were let fester. It is deeply concerning.

“It is appalling that the principal and staff in Ardgillan have been left with no alternative but to send students home, denying them their right to education.

“The safety of staff and students is paramount and every resource necessary must be offered to ensure that staff are in the position to ensure that students are properly accommodated as soon as possible. Everyone working or studying in a school should feel as though they are in a safe environment, free from danger or distraction.

“It needs to be examined by the State whether this company were aware of their shortfalls during construction phase and if the company should be prevented from applying for tenders for the construction of future public buildings.

She concluded, “Temporary accommodation is not a long term solution and necessary remedial works to bring Ardgillan Community College up to scratch must be promptly completed without delay.”

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