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02/08/2021

Laois Offaly students and staff crammed in Portarlington secondary school

Leaks, overcrowding, prefabs part of the daily grind for a school that demands action

schools laois offaly portarlington

Crowded corridors deemed a safety issue at Coláiste Íosagáin

Students are sitting on floors to eat, missing out on subject choices, at risk of school intruders, and suffering stress from the lack of space, and all because the school says the Department of Education is taking too long to build a new school.

Parents and staff of Coláiste Íosagáin secondary school in Portarlington have revealed how crammed and under pressure their 1,003 teens are, with basic prefabs not filling the gap of specialist classrooms. Exit doors must stay open for students to access prefabs, reducing security at the school.

“We do not have the facilities we deserve and need,” Principal Seamus Bennett said.

Parents Council member Colm Dunne fears how everyone could safely escape if there was a fire.

“It's nuts. Trying to get from one class to another is crazy,” he said.

Deputy Principal Brendan McGlynn says the roof leaks everywhere. “I spend time mopping water before the kids come in. The biggest thing affecting wellbeing is the building and lack of space.”

More in this week's Leinster Express.

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