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Level of structural defects in schools demands urgent action - Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD

15 August, 2019 - by Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Education and Skills Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD has said that the level of structural defects in schools demands 'urgent action'; adding that no school should have to lose school days due to inadequate building standards.

Teachta Ó Laoghaire said:

"The priority in all of these instances needs to be the safety and welfare of children, staff and the wider school community. 

"This appears to be an escalating problem, with schools which had previously passed an initial examination now having structural defects discovered, and it is a cause of huge concern; particularly where it is causing disruption to education as is the case with St. Paul's National School in Ratoath.

"It is quite extraordinary that some of these schools were completed as recently as 2016 and 2017 and even last year. There are huge questions to answer as to how there are such apparent defects in schools which have only just had the ribbon cut.

"The Department, and Western Building Solutions need to tell us if they feel there is any possibility that any further defects will be found in recently built schools.

"As with schools which had defects revealed in 2018, this raises major questions regarding the quality of the work undertaken by contractors, but also on a policy level, the Department's procurement process. How was this allowed to happen?

"We need the Department's independent review of Design and Build Procurement Model to be published as soon as possible, so that any future contracts for construction can be watertight, and ensure that there are no defects, and that no school has to lose school days due to inadequate standards."

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