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Over €1.1 million spent per year on prefabs in Donegal schools – Doherty

3 December, 2009 - by Pearse Doherty TD

Donegal Senator Pearse Doherty has described the fact that schools in Co. Donegal are spending upwards of €1.1 million per year on the rental of prefabs as “a shocking indictment of a Minister who would rather throw money down the drain than do something proactive with it”.

He said:

“There are 79 rented prefabs being used as classrooms in Donegal, this of course doesn’t include those prefabs which have been purchased. A number of schools are renting prefabs at a cost in excess of €100,000 per year, while one school in particular is spending in excess of €150,000 in annual rent. All this amounts to a yearly cost of around €1.136 million on the rental of prefabs.

“This is a ludicrous situation and is money poured straight down the drain. It is particularly farcical given the fact that the Minister for Education and Science Batt O’Keeffe has yet to spend a significant portion of his yearly budget for school buildings.

“Not withstanding the ridiculous financial issues relating to the rental of prefabs – it is widely known that many of these prefab buildings are unfit for children to be accommodated in. We have all heard the stories of damp and freezing prefabs with inadequate heating and water facilities.

“How can the Minister justify such a huge spend on the rental of prefabs when this is clearly dead money? Why does the Minister refuse to implement a school buildings programme which would not only see children being educated in a safe and clean environment but would also create much-needed employment in the construction industry.

“It is clear that the Minister is far more interested in pouring money down the drain on the rental of prefabs than he is in investing in a proper fully functioning school buildings programme. I am calling on the Minister to support Sinn Féin recommendations which would see a minimum 125 schools go to construction each year and the implementation of a comprehensive school buildings programme.“ ENDS

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