Education Minister Norma Foley to get first-hand account of dire conditions at Laois school

Conor Ganly


Conor Ganly


The ceiling in one of the classrooms at Scoil Mhuire in Abbeyleix collapsed

Hopes will be high in Abbeyleix that the problems highlighted about the dire state of the local national school will be finally be taken seriously with confirmation that the school is to get a chance to make its case to Minister for Education Norma Foley.

Laois Offaly Seán Fleming TD and Minister of State at the Department of Finance confirm that a meeting has been arranged between Minister of Education & Skills Norma Foley and Scoil Mhuire Abbeyleix for Thursday, March 25.

While the meeting will be held online/virtually, due to the Covid restrictions, Minister Fleming said it presents an opportunity to the school to make their case.

"This will be an opportunity for the school to raise the major structural problems with the school building," said the Fianna Fáil TD.

He added: "The roof of the building has so many leaks it is beyond repair.  The sewerage system under the school building is not fit for purpose.  Insulation of the walls and the building is non-existant.

"I look forward to Minister Foley hearing first hand from the school authorities who will highlight to her that the continuing effort to patch and repair the school building is no longer sustainable.

"I will be calling on the Minister to take on board all the comments from the school and to respond to their very reasonable request for a full comprehensive approach to solving the unacceptable situation the school finds itself in.

"Finally, I also want to thank the school principal, staff, Board of Management, parents and above all the students in the school who are coping with the very difficult situation," concluded the TD.

It is more than a year since parents raised their concerns with Laois Offaly politicians at a public meeting organised by the INTO in Portlaoise.

All the Laois TDs were given a first-hand tour of the building in 2019.