Minister of State Sean Sherlock has hit back at one of his Labour Party colleagues who claimed a promised new school wouldn’t be built in the timeframe suggested by the senior politician.
Cllr Noel McCarthy said earlier this week he believed a new Gaelscoil in Fermoy wouldn’t be ready for occupancy until 2017.
However, in a statement released yesterday, the junior minister at the Department of Foreign Affairs said he reiterated his position that the new Gaelscoil de hÍde would go to construction next year and would be open to students by September 2016.
He said he’d been advised by Department of Education officials that this remains the case and that he was “proud to have announced” in 2012, while a Minister in the Department of Education and Skills, that a new facility would be built for the 410 pupils currently enduring archaic and cramped conditions.
Mr Sherlock said he could understand the frustration from those involved, but “some of the councillors bleating about lack of progress from the side-lines sat on this issue for many years”. A spokesman for Mr Sherlock declined to say if this comment was aimed at Cllr McCarthy.
The land required for the school still has to be conveyanced from the Housing Agency to the Department of Education.
But Mr Sherlock said he believed this would be done shortly and the school board of management would then receive a call from the Department of Education saying they were proceeding to seek planning permission.
Cllr McCarthy, said: If I’m proved wrong then I’ll be happy, but I don’t think I’ll be too far off the mark,” he said.
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