Watchdog investigates school’s spending

The Department of Education’s financial watchdog is investigating a school in Galway over alleged procurement issues.

The Irish Examiner understands the Financial Support Services Unit (FSSU) has been working at Scoil Mhuire Moycullen, also known as Central School Moycullen, since before Christmas.

In its only comment on the matter, the Department of Education said: “In the case of the school in question, the department can confirm that it has received correspondence which it is currently considering. As this case is currently under review, the department will not be commenting further.”

The Irish Examiner has sought comment from the school but none has been forthcoming.

It is understood the FSSU’s involvement comes after information was lodged with the department’s confidential recipient in Athlone and relates to historical issues which include the procurement of prefabs.

Scoil Mhuire is a co-educational Catholic national school and is currently engaged in fundraising efforts for a brand new school.

According to the school website: “Our school is included in the 2019 to 2021 Phase of the Department of Education and Skills School Building Plan. A brand new school will be built for Scoil Mhuire during this phase. The Board of Management will hold a Town-Hall Meeting in the Halla Mór at 8pm on Thursday 31st of January.”

Just last month, senior staff at the school met with Education Minister Joe McHugh to discuss the new school plan, in a meeting that was facilitated by minister for the Irish language, the Gaeltacht and the islands, Sean Kyne, who is also a local TD.

The FSSU is a support mechanism for the school management in the Community and Comprehensive, Primary and Voluntary Secondary sectors which assists them in complying with the provisions of the Education Act 1998 in terms of transparency, accountability and financial responsibility for State and other funding.

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