Department of Education confirms resumption of remediation works on schools with structural defects

The Department of Education confirmed that works on the schools - which would not have been scheduled to begin in many cases until after the end of the school year - had got underway today.
Department of Education confirms resumption of remediation works on schools with structural defects
Remediation plans were temporarily shelved due to the Covid-19 outbreak earlier this year.

Remediation works on schools affected by structural defects and other issues have resumed after the government decision last Friday to lift some of the restrictions initially brought in to deal with the coronavirus pandemic.

The Department of Education confirmed that works on the schools - which would not have been scheduled to begin in many cases until after the end of the school year - had got underway today.

It meant some schools being informed only last Friday that work was to begin, leaving little time to organise the removal of materials and to inform parents.

Some of the schools constructed by Western Building Systems were due to undergo continuing works but the remediation plans were temporarily shelved due to the Covid-19 outbreak earlier this year.

The government has already spent tens of millions on the works at the affected schools.

One of those impacted by the defects is Gaelscoil Mhichíl Uí Choileáin in Clonakilty in West Cork. In an email circulated to parents on Sunday night its Principal, Pádraig Ó'hEachthairn, said he had received confirmation only last Friday that works by SISK building contractors would commence on Monday.

"We, the staff, have been given 2 days where we are allowed to enter the school to organise and pack up the classroom materials, and entire school in general, and to arrange the various rooms before the builders move in," he said.

"I, like you, have a number of concerns at this stage and I will be seeking answers to these concerns when I meet with the representatives of SISK."

According to a Departmental spokesman: "Works on the school remediation programme are commencing this week and the Department is keeping school authorities updated in relation to same.

"In line with National Public Health announcements by Government, all construction sites in relation to the Education Sector ceased in March 2020 including in respect of the schools remediation programme.

"The Government roadmap published on the 1st May 2020, provides for the construction sector re-mobilising from today and this was confirmed following Government meeting last Friday.

"Guidance and protocols have been published to enable contractors meet the public health requirements for re-opening of construction sites."

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