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Munster questions Minister on Termonfeckin School row back

8 July, 2016 - by Imelda Munster TD

Imelda Munster, Sinn Féin TD for Louth and Meath East, this week raised the issue of the Department of Education’s row back on a promise made last year giving the go-ahead for construction to commence this year on a 7 classroom extension for Scoil Naomh Feichín in Termonfeckin, Co. Louth.

Raising the issue during a Topical Issues debate on Tuesday evening, Deputy Munster questioned the Minister of State for Training and Skills John Halligan TD on the matter, asking him to explain why the Department of Education had reneged on their commitment.

Deputy Munster said:

“Was it just another empty election promise? Was it a gimmick, a stunt or simple incompetence? Is the Department so incompetent that it cannot correctly manage its own capital investment budget? Is that the case? What one finds now is that the Department may have discovered that the cupboard was bare and that it has no money after six months of the year.

“This came as a devastating blow to the community that has campaigned so hard over the years for this extension. They had understood that this commitment was genuine. They are very disappointed.

“Whilst it’s to be welcomed that the Minister has pledged to go back to the Department saying that there may be expenditure available, and that he has offered to meet with me, I would be very cautious until we get an absolute commitment, given what was happened to date.

“This issue is very urgent indeed, and must be resolved in the very near future. The issue is that in the absence of answers from either Minister, we have to conclude that the commitment given must have been either an election gimmick or a stark insight into the mismanagement of funding in the Department of Education.  Minister Halligan has said he will revert to me within the next two weeks on this matter. I will be following up on that commitment next week.” 

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