Up to 40 schools built in the last decade around Ireland could potentially be 'at risk of closure' as the Department of Education investigates and widens its investigation into the structural safety of work done on buildings during the Celtic Tiger.
Two primary schools in west Dublin - Tyrrelstown Educate Together and St Luke's National School - were closed this week following structural checks, leaving 1,200 pupils at home.
Tyrrelstown Community Centre, on the same campus as the two primary schools, is also closing temporarily.
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.
Yesterday, the Department ordered its structural examinations to all schools built by Western Building Systems (WBS), including those built in the past five years.
After Ardgillan, the Department of Education ordered structural checks on 30 WBS schools, as well as an extension of checks to 40 schools.
In a statement, WBS said they were "keen to get to the bottom of the issue" and added that "considerable emphasis on delivering high-quality work on each of our projects, always ensuring compliance with regulatory requirements. These include projects which had met the Department of Education's compliance standards."
"Until now, our integrity has never been questioned. Each of our Department of Education and Skills' projects, both before and since the amendments to building regulations in 2014, were subjected to inspections during construction. Every time, each was certified as meeting compliance standards."