Ac­com­mo­da­tion must be found ur­gently for stu­dents

Fingal Independent - - NEWS -

SPEAK­ING in the Dáil, Sinn Féin TD for Fingal Louise O’reilly chal­lenged the Min­is­ter for Ed­u­ca­tion Joe Mchugh and called for al­ter­na­tive ac­com­mo­da­tion for Ardg­illan Com­mu­nity Col­lege in Bal­brig­gan to be im­me­di­ately pro­vided.

Ques­tion­ing the Min­is­ter for Ed­u­ca­tion, Deputy O’reilly said: ‘The sit­u­a­tion af­fect­ing stu­dents and their fam­i­lies, as well as teach­ers, at Ardg­illan Com­mu­nity Col­lege, Bal­brig­gan is of the most se­ri­ous na­ture.

‘The re­cent fire and safety as­sess­ment car­ried out by the Depart­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion which iden­ti­fied struc­tural prob­lems with part of the school have meant the clo­sure of a sec­tion of the school which af­fects a stag­ger­ing 200 of the 900 plus stu­dent pop­u­la­tion.’

Deputy Reilly said: ‘The sit­u­a­tion is ex­tremely de­bil­i­tat­ing and wor­ry­ing for stu­dents and their fam­i­lies and for teach­ers.

The in­se­cu­rity and in­sta­bil­ity which this has caused is enor­mous.

‘It is ab­so­lutely essen­tial that al­ter­na­tive ac­com­mo­da­tion for the stu­dents at Ardg­illan Com­mu­nity Col­lege is im­me­di­ately pro­vided.’

The Sinn Féin TD added: ‘In the com­ing months, we must get to the bot­tom of how this hap­pened and who is re­spon­si­ble. How­ever, the most press­ing is­sue now is that al­ter­na­tive ac­com­mo­da­tion is pro­vided as a mat­ter of ur­gency.’ Mean­while, Fine Gael TD for Dublin Fingal, Alan Far­rell has also voiced his con­cern re­gard­ing the iden­ti­fi­ca­tion of struc­tural is­sues in Ardg­illan Com­mu­nity Col­lege which has ne­ces­si­tated the clo­sure of a sec­tion of the school.

He said: ‘I am se­ri­ously con­cerned fol­low­ing with the iden­ti­fi­ca­tion of struc­tural is­sues in Ardg­illan Com­mu­nity Col­lege, which has meant that a sec­tion of the school build­ing has had to be closed.

‘The fact that struc­tural is­sues are present in any school build­ing is wholly un­ac­cept­able, and our stu­dents and young peo­ple de­serve bet­ter.

‘It is vi­tal that stu­dents are pro­vided with the in­fra­struc­ture and re­sources to re­ceive their ed­u­ca­tion in an environment which is con­ducive to their learn­ing.

‘Build­ings with struc­tural is­sues are cer­tainly not such en­vi­ron­ments, and this is caus­ing a dis­rup­tion for all of the stu­dents af­fected., which should never have oc­curred in the first place.’

Deputy Louise O’reilly TD

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