Children forced to wear overcoats in school because of heating faults

Children forced to wear overcoats in school because of heating faults

By Maurice Garvey

PARENTS in Lucan are “outraged”. State bureaucracy is stalling efforts by a local school to undertake long overdue refurbishment works – with children forced to wear coats in class due to inadequate heating facilities.

Scoil Mhuire Girls National School has waited 10 years for works to commence, including the refurbishment of parts of the school, upgrading the heating system and bathroom facilities, along with the addition of three new classrooms to replace current prefabs.

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Despite tendering out the design and securing the services of a contractor to begin the project, the Department of Education is seeking “requirements” from the school to make it onto the Building Project list, according to the Parents Association of Scoil Mhuire GNS.

A €2.2 billion five-year capital investment programme was launched by Minister for Education Jan O’Sullivan in 2012, to carry out major new school building works around the country.

Work has already begun on schools in Tallaght and Lucan.

Parents blasted the delay this week as “nothing short of disgraceful”, with one mother shocked at public money spent on the design and tendering process and “nothing to show for it.”

Another parent Ashleigh Carroll blasted the delay, and said: “Our children should not have to sit in their coats all day. 120 third-class girls are using two toilets. This school needs our help.”

Lucan resident Elaine Emerson, said: “It’s a bloody joke. It’s not the school’s fault, it’s the government. The school is in bad need of a makeover. My daughter is in Fourth class and there is no heating in it. I think I’ll send her in with a blanket next week.”

The Parents Association of Scoil Mhuire issued an urgent appeal this week, seeking support in the community “for the Board of Management at Scoil Mhuire GNSL.”

The statement said: “Our school needs the Buildings Project work completed after 10 years of waiting and planning for the works to begin.

“We are seeking the political support of our local representatives and intend meeting with each of the representatives in the coming days to demonstrate the importance of GNSL making the final list.”

They have asked parents, past pupils and locals to send emails to their local representative outlining the “outrage that parents are feeling” after “the school has waited 10 years for the works to be completed.”

“We are now at risk of being let down yet again,” said the statement.

Scoil Mhuire GNS did not reply to The Echo before going to print.



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