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Doherty welcomes decision by Gortahork National School parents

7 January, 2004

Donegal Sinn Féin Chairperson and EU candidate, Pearse Doherty, has welcomed the decision taken by the Parents Committee of Gortahork National School, that children will return to class on Monday if certain immediate health and safety concerns are met.

Responding to this morning statement from the Parents Committee, Mr Doherty said:

Today's decision must be welcomed, as it is in everyones interest that these children are educated, but this education must be delivered in a safe environment that is acceptable to all parties - Teachers, Parents, Pupils, and the Department.

"Therefore this window of opportunity that has been created by the parents decision must be seized upon, and all effort made to ensure that between now and Monday that the concerns that have been raised in relation to the health and safety of their children are addressed. The Department of Education must make the necessary funds available to the Board of Management in order for them to tackle these problems.

"This decision also provides Minister Dempsey the chance to right the wrongs of the past. There is no doubt that this school should have been included in this year's school building programme. The additional schools that are to be announced by the Minister for inclusion in the programme, at the end of the month, must include Gortahork national School.

"A request has been formally made by myself, on behalf of the Parents Committee, to Minister Dempsey that he meet with a delegation of the Parents committee without delay. This will be re-iterated by my party colleague Deputy Sean Crowe when he meets the Minister at 2 pm today. ENDS

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