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Hanafin reneges on commitment to provide sports hall at Pobail Scoil Gaoth Dobhair - Doherty

20 March, 2008

Speaking in the Seanad today Donegal Sinn Féin Senator Pearse Doherty accused the Minister for Education Mary Hanafin of breaking a commitment to build a gym for Pobail Scoil Gaoth Dobhair.

Senator Doherty said, "Commitments to provide a Physical Education Hall at Pobail Scoil Gaoth Dobhair have been given since the early eighties. However, more than twenty years later nothing has been done.

"More recently Minister Hanafin and her Department have approved funding for the sports hall and informed the board of management at the school on the 21st of May 2007 that the project would be on site no late than eight months from that date.

"However, after raising this issue in the Seanad today, the community's greatest fear has been realised. The Department has gone back on its commitment of May 2007 and now says this project will compete with other projects and refers particularly to the need to provide new schools in rapidly developing area.

"Over the past year the Department has continually moved the goalposts in what I believe was an attempt to stall this project. Today's response from the Department has spelled out what has been my suspicion - that the Department is reneging on its commitment to provide a sports hall at Pobail Scoil Gaoth Dobhair.

"This facility is urgently required in Goath Dobhair as children are currently having to travel for the use of such facilities. The students in Pobail Scoil Gaoth Dobhair deserve the same facilities as any other public school in the state.

"I will be raising this directly with Minister Hanafin and I will be pressing on her the need to live up to her original commitment to provide these facilities at Pobail Scoil Gaoth Dobhair." ENDS

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