‘I was very surprised at the recent announcement of 42 new primary and secondary schools by the Minister for Education. While all new schools are welcome, my concern relates to the fact that they are overwhelmingly in the greater Dublin area and have projected timelines that look like they will cut across current projects that are committed to.
The Minister needs to confirm that these new schools will not in any way impact on the major refurbishment and extensions that are planned for a range of schools across Tipperary. The Gaeilscoil in Clonmel, the merger of the two primary schools in Templemore and Colaiste Phobail in Roscrea are just three projects that are confirmed on the School building capital plan that have yet to commence. They are on the plan since I was Minister as I helped to make sure that they got to this stage.
The Minister needs to confirm 100% that these schools will still be built in the timelines that are already committed to and that there will be no deviation from this. The schools have had enough false promises in the past. Otherwise this is another stroke by this Government whereby they are prioritising the capital and surrounds above the students of Tipperary, where they have already made commitments. The estimates for the Department of Education are certainly not clear that they can do both so the Minister needs to provide certainly to the pupils of these schools and their teachers, boards of managements’.