Fine Gael TD for Dublin Fingal, Alan Farrell, has welcomed the announcement by Minister for Education, Ruairí Quinn, that five new school building projects will take place in Fingal in 2013.
“This is great news for Lusk, Skerries, Balbriggan and Rush as parents can plan for the future with confidence that these projects will proceed as planned and without delay. Work will commence on Lusk Community College, which will be the first provision of second level education for the area, Flemington-Balbriggan National School, Skerries Educate Together, Scoil Catríona in Rush and Coláiste Glor na Mora in Stephenstown.
“This will bring to ten the number of significant school building projects in the north county in the space of two years and marks a real investment in our children’s education in the area.
“Fingal has the one of the fastest growing populations in the country and is the youngest constituency in Europe. I am glad that this has finally been recognised by the Department of Education, and that these school places will be in permanent structures and not temporary prefab accommodation as had been policy for so long.
“On a national level, this will lead to the creation of over 4,000 jobs during construction phase and will provide over 25,000 permanent school places. Of these, almost 21,000 will be additional places and the remainder will replace temporary or unsatisfactory accommodation.
“We have to try to ensure that every child growing up in Ireland will have access to a school place and ideally, a space that makes learning more appealing.
“The projects being announced are part of the €2 billion five year plan which will see 275 new major school building projects implemented over the period 2012-2016.
“This announcement is part of the Government’s plan to provide more than 100,000 permanent school places over the course of the five year plan. Total enrolment in both primary and post-primary schools is expected to grow by around 70,000 between now and 2018 – by over 45,000 at primary level and 25,000 at post primary. These schools will help deal with this increased demand.”