More school closures not ruled out as structural invesigations wrap up

Following the news that the Department of Education was investigating the structural safety of work done on school buildings during the Celtic Tiger, officials have said they are putting contingency plans in place should more school buildings be forced to closed.

Two primary schools in west Dublin - Tyrrelstown Educate Together and St Luke's National School - were closed last week following structural checks, leaving 1,200 pupils at home, and a total of 42 additional schools were also investigated. 

The department has said the target is to have all the initial assessments conducted by end of today is on schedule; the results of some of those inspections will also be released tomorrow.

School buildings at Tyrrelstown Educate Together National School, St Luke’s National School and Gaelscoil Eiscir Riada in Lucan have all been closed as a result of safety concerns. 

Education Minister Joe McHugh says that progress has been made to provide “interim accommodation” for these schools and that the department has been speaking with the school principals on practical arrangements. He also said that plans are also being put in place in case buildings in other schools are forced to close, according to multiple reports. 

“Contingency planning is continuing in the event that, following structural assessments, other schools require some classes to be moved off-site,” McHugh said.

Ardgillan Community College, Balbriggan, Co Dublin, has already shut 18 classrooms because of "significant structural issues" of a similar nature as those identified in those two primary schools, according to the Department of Education.

The problems at Ardgillan came to light during remediation works being carried out on foot of a programme of fire safety assessment at 55 schools.

The department ordered its structural examinations to all schools built by Western Building Systems (WBS), including those built in the past five years.



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