Firm that built school with fire safety concerns constructed at least 25 others

The company that built a 200-child primary school in 2008 — found, by accident, six years later to have serious fire safety concerns — has constructed at least 25 other schools for the State, including two since the issues emerged.

Details provided to the Irish Examiner by the Department of Education show that Western Building Systems, of Coalisland, Dungannon, Co Tyrone, has developed units across the country since at least 2008.

The schools were built as part of the Government’s rapid build school programme, which allows schools to be built in months.

While department officials said no issues have been identified to date, Education Minister Jan O’Sullivan has confirmed five sites constructed in 2008 and 2009 will undergo checks “immediately” due to the Rush and Lusk controversy — identified 16 months ago — as they were “similarly” built.

The five units Ms O’Sullivan identified are Scoil Naomh Lucais in Tyrrellstown, Dublin (built in 2008); Belmayne Educate Together in Dublin (2008); Greystones Educate Together/Gaeolscoil na gCloch Liath in Dublin (2008); Mullingar Educate Together in Westmeath (2008); and Ardgillan Community College in Balbriggan, Dublin. A further 20 were built between 2010 and this year.

Four units are based in Cork: Carrigaline Educate Together; Gaelscoil Chloich na Coillte in Clonakilty; Scoil Phádraig Naofa in Rochestown; and Cara Junior Special School in Mayfield.

In a statement to the Irish Examiner, the department said while it “has no indication of similar concerns” to the Rush and Lusk episode “arising in relation to those buildings”, it is “currently arranging for a more detailed examination” of the five sites built in 2008 and 2009. This is because they were “similarly” constructed to Rush and Lusk.

The department said the sites built by Western — which has yet to respond to Irish Examiner requests for comment — “have been certified in accordance with the statutory building regulations in place”.

It said officials audit “a percentage of projects” to confirm “proper and complete project documentation and appropriate certificates are available”. However, “these audits do not include extensive or invasive investigation of building fabric and construction” as “fire safety inspections of completed buildings are normally a matter for the local authority”.

Other schools by developer

2015

¦Gaelscoil Shliabh Rua, Stepaside, Dublin

2014

¦ Cara Junior Special School, Mayfield, Cork

2013

¦ Luttrellstown CC, Porterstown, Dublin

¦ Scoil Choilm, Porterstown, Dublin

¦ Carrigaline Educate Together, Cork

¦ Gaelscoil Chloich na Coillte, Clonakilty, Cork

¦ Scoil Phádraig Naofa, Rochestown, Cork

¦ Portlaoise Educate Together, Co Laois

¦ Gaelscoil Portlaoise, Laois ¦ Maryborough CoI, Portlaoise, Co Laois

2012

¦ Gaelscoil Eiscir Riada, Lucan, Dublin

¦ Scoil Naomh Lucais, Mulhuddart, Dublin

¦ Portarlington Convent National School, Co Laois

¦ Scoil Chormaic, Flemington, Balbriggan, Dublin

2011

¦ Scoil Atha Í, Kildare ¦ Scoil Phadraig Naofa, Athy, Co Kildare

¦ Model School, Athy, Kildare Lucan East Educate Together, Dublin

¦ St Paul’s National School, Ratoath, Co Meath

¦ Tyrrellstown Educate Together, Dublin

2009

¦ Ardgillan Community College, Balbriggan, Dublin

2008

¦ Scoil Naomh Lucais (previously Mulhuddart national school), Tyrrellstown, Dublin

¦ Belmayne Educate Together/ St Francis of Assisi, Dublin (adjoining campus)

¦ Rush/ Lusk Educate Together, Dublin

¦ Greystones Educate Together/ Gaelscoil na gCloch Liath, Dublin (adjoining campus)

¦ Mullingar Educate Together, Co Westmeath


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