Teacher Aoife Maher and Msgr John Byrn with the some of the first Junior Infant pupils of the Holy Famly campus on September 2017. Pic: Kevin Byrne
The investment of public money in Portlaoise's education has been revealed in new figures by Laois TD and Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan.
Portlaoise Parish has invited the people of the town to visit the Holy Family Campus which opened last September .
The junior and senior schools were built with a mixture of funding.
While Portlaoise parish committed a net €1 million to the project, most of the funds have come from taxes raised from the public.
“Total expenditure to date on the Holy Family Schools in Portlaoise amounts to €13,682,993,” Minister Flanagan told the Leinster Express this week.
“I am very pleased that the Government, agreed to a significant school capital building project in our county, as part of the Capital Investment Programme.
“ In the period 2011-2017, €65.650m has been provided for Capital Expenditure in schools in County Laois, resulting in 12 new schools buildings, multiple school extensions and 6,360 new school places.
“As local TD for one of the most rapidly growing counties in the country, I have prioritised education.
“The Government has set ambitious targets to make Ireland’s education and training service the best in Europe by 2026.
“This means being the best at supporting disadvantaged students, the best at providing the skills needed for a growing economy, and the best at ensuring our children are educated in state of the art facilities,” he said.
Minster Flanagan looked forward to the building projects for Kolbe Special School and St Francis Special School being progressed.
“Education is key to our ambitions as a nation. It helps us to grow a strong economy and gives everyone the opportunity to fulfil their full potential.
“This government has set the ambition to make Ireland’s education and training service the best in Europe by 2026,” said the Fine Gael TD.
Minister Flanagan said more is being invested in education than ever before -over €10 billion in 2018, the biggest ever budget for education..
“For years Laois was neglected in this regard and I am proud of my record.
“I am very appreciative of the role that has been played by the Parish authorities and in particular the leadership of Monsignor John Byrne,” he said.
Announcing the Holy Family open day for Sunday, May 20 9am-2pm,, Portlaoise Parish said it has made considerable investment in the schools.
With the assistance of the Presentation Sisters, the site was purchased for €1.25. An all-weather pitch costing €180,000 was provided with the help of the Christian Brothers.