'Rock solid 'case made for Abbeyleix school overhaul to Education Minister


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

The Minister for Education has been left in no doubt about the 'terrible' condition of the main primary school in Abbeyleix, acccording to Brian Stanley TD.

The Laois Offaly Sinn Féin TD was among a number of politicians who met virtually with Minister Norma Foley this week. He said pupils, parents, staff, teachers management and Deputy Stanley's colleagues in the Dáil delivered a unified strong message about what is wrong and what should be done.

 “A rock solid case was made yesterday for a new school in Abbeyleix at a meeting with Minister Norma Foley. The Minister was left in no doubt of the terrible condition that Scoil Mhuire is in. The school staff, pupils and school management outlined in great detail the terrible condition of the building.’’

“I told the Minister of one proposal that was put to me last year and that was to have the building retrofitted in 2024 or a date after that. This is not an option as the school can’t wait that long and it is my firm belief that a full technical assessment would show that Scoil Mhuire needs to be demolished.

"I explained to Minister Foley that the school is on an 8.5acre site which means that a new 16 classroom building can be constructed at the rear of the existing school without disturbing the functioning of the school during the construction phase.

"In the meantime, the school needs emergency repairs to the roof, the sewerage system and the electrics so as to tide them over until new accommodation is provided.

"I welcome the commitment Minister Foley gave to have a full Engineers report and technical assessment as soon as possible,’’ said Dep Stanley after the meeting which was convened by Minister of State Seán Fleming.

The minister committed to examining two options at the meeting.

The meeting was also attended by Minister of State Pippa Hackett, Charlie Flanagan TD, Carol Nolan TD and Cllr John Joe Fennelly. 

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