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Minister's poor response to concerns about St Molaga’s leaves a lot to be desired - Clifford-Lee

- Teachers and pupils are forced to occupy prefab units no longer fit for purpose while waiting for action on a new school build -

- Four prefabs were evacuated during last week’s Storm Ali -

Fianna Fáil Seanad Spokesperson on Justice, Children and Youth Affairs, Senator Lorraine Clifford-Lee has said that the dire condition of a number of prefabs in St Molaga’s Senior National School, Balbriggan is leaving countless staff, pupils and families at their wit's end.

The Fingal based Senator raised the matter in Seanad Éireann earlier this afternoon and said, “St Molaga's has been an important part of the community in Balbriggan for over thirty years. Just under 30 teachers and 6 Special Needs Assistant's are currently providing a quality education to well over 400 local pupils. Over half of these pupils are being taught in prefab accommodation.

“It’s incredibly frustrating that I have raised the situation in St Molaga’s with Minister Bruton a number of times over the past two years and yet I’ve had to plead once again with Minister Mitchell O’Connor to address this extreme situation.

“The winter cold is on the cusp of setting in and already the existing prefab accommodation is leaving both staff and pupils in desperately cold and damp conditions. It’s inevitable that they will catch flues and colds over the next few months having to sit in prefabs that are almost 20 years old, crumbling and getting worse.

In this day and age it’s hard to fathom how this is let go on by the Department. I have asked the Minister for Education to make a visit to St Molaga's to see the substandard teaching environment for himself. Regrettably, it seems my invitation has fallen on deaf ears.

"Minister Mitchell-O'Connor's poor response to my concerns this afternoon is sadly indicative of the Government's attitude towards fixing a problem that is leaving countless staff, pupils and families at wits' end.

She concluded, “Urgent progress must be made on upgrading and extending the school building in St Molaga’s s. Another 12 months cannot be let pass without these building works getting underway and dangerous prefab accommodation is replaced.”

See full video clip of proceedings here

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