Local Government TD Deputy Frank Feighan has welcomed the inclusion of four local schools in a school building programme announced by the Education Minister which Deputy Feighan says will help boost the progress of each of the projects (three secondary and one primary). However his former Fine Gael colleague Deputy Denis Naughten has hit out strongly at the omission of Cloonakilla NS from the list.
Deputy Feighan welcomed news of the Government’s five-year school building programme. He said two of the major projects included are Ballinamore Community School and Athlone Community College, the latter which caters for many Roscommon students in South Roscommon. He said he is delighted to confirm that both of these developments will commence construction this year.
“I am also pleased to confirm that Gaelscoil Liatroma, St. Mary's GAA, Attyfinlay, Carrick-on-Shannon, will go to construction in the year 2015/16. Furthermore, I have learned that the large multi-million euro extension development taking place at Scoil Mhuire Strokestown will also benefit from this programme.”
However Deputy Feighan’s former Fine Gael colleague Deputy Denis Naughten will question the Minister for Education in the Dáil seeking an explanation as to why Cloonakilla NS has been dropped from the school building programme for the next five years.
Deputy Naughten said: “The school has secured an adjoining site for expansion of the school and is under growing pressure due to demand, with children being catered for in prefabs. Both it and Coosan NS on the Westmeath side were seen as local priorities, but while the Coosan project made it to the list Cloonakilla has been dropped.
“This is extremely demoralising for the very active staff, management team and parents association at the school. I’m issuing an invite to the Minister for Education to come and see the area for himself and to view the excellent standard of education being provided as well as the challenges faced by the pupils and staff on such a confined site.”