New school build delays in Meath raised in the Dail

Delays in the new school building programme for Co Meath were raised in the Dail last week.

The lack of progress on new school buildings for Dunshaughlin, Stamullen, Dunboyne and Lismullen was raised by Deputy Darren O'Rourke who asked why they were not proceeding at the pace they were intended to.

"There have been many Dáil debates and written questions from across the political spectrum asking the question as to why new school building projects are not proceeding at the pace they were intended to. This is particularly the case in Meath and in the Greater Dublin Area," he said.

"In recent weeks alone I have been contacted by concerned school communities in Dunshaughlin, Stamullen, Dunboyne and Lismullen, for example. All of them are awaiting news as to their aspirations for a new building.

"The question for all of them is why their projects aren't progressing at a quicker pace and why there isn't more information coming from the Minister or the Department."

He said his own suspicion is that there is a funding constraint.

"We know that the National Development Plan is up for review currently. We know, too, that many remedial works had to take place on buildings and that a number of building projects were paused last year due to funding. We know that construction inflation is a challenge across the board."

In his response to Deputy O'Rourke, Tánaiste Micheál Martin said that additional funding for the NDP is expected to remedy any hold-ups being faced by schools.

Minister Martin said: “I expect all of those issues to be resolved very quickly so, therefore, we can hopefully have progress on the schools referred to.”

Deputy O'Rourke concluded; "It is concerning that this funding issue is only coming to light from pressure from the opposition. The Minister for Educations must spell it out in detail. She must be clear with schools that are waiting in frustration. When will the NDP review be completed and, more importantly, when will schools in County Meath get the green light?"