Education grants target prefab legacy in Dublin North

Fine Gael TD for Dublin North Alan Farrell has congratulated six schools from Dublin North who have been offered government grants to replace existing prefabricated units with permanent accommodation, as part of a national initiative undertaken by the Minister for Education, Ruairi Quinn TD.

“It is my view that the practise of renting prefabricated buildings has been one of the biggest failures of our education system over the past ten years, not to mention a serious waste of money that could have been invested in proper renovation works for long term gain, particularly during the height of the boom.

“Prefab units should have been a short term solution for expanding schools. Instead, it became government policy to continue to rent or buy units for the long term, becoming a serious source of worry for schools as conditions in prefabs deteriorated over time.

“Parents and teachers have never been comfortable sending children to school in prefab units, particularly those with issues of damp and temperature regulation problems. Over the years I have visited schools around the north county and met teachers and parents who have been campaigning for a resolution to these sub standard prefabs.

“It is for this reason that I understand the importance of this announcement to these schools, Naul National School, Scoil Phadraic in Donabate, Realt Na Mara in Skerries, St. Peter and Paul’s National School, and St Teresa’s in Balbriggan, and St. Colmcille’s in Swords, all of whom I am certain will take full advantage of this investment for their students gain.

“This is one of the biggest initiatives taken on by the Department of Education nationwide and will cost €35 million, separate to the School Building Works fund that was announced late last year.

“This investment in young people is a remarkable achievement for the Department of Education amongst strong budget limitations, and will be of enormous benefit to children across the country.”