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Archive for January, 2009

The Sun  21/01/09  (by John Mitchell)

The principal of a school operating in temporary prefabs without proper heating or sanitation since 1996 has called for the Department of Education to be “shut down”.  Seán O’Donáile of  Gaelscoil Bharra in Cabra, Dublin, was reacting yesterday to the news that the State paid more than €100m in subsidies to private fee-paying secodary schools in 2008.  He said “priority should be given to disadvantaged schools like ours, who have spent 13 years in prefabs.”  New figures show that 99m was spent on salaries for almost 1,500 teachers in fee-paying schools, with €2.1m spent on capital works in 17 facilities.  “The money is being mismanaged and it is a disgrace.  I say shut the Department down”, says Mr O’Donaile.

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Northside People Print
Tuesday, 06 January 2009
PARENTS, pupils and teachers of a Northside “rat infested” school travelled over 300 miles to personally deliver a sackful of New Year demands to the Minister for Education.
The group stepped up their campaign for better conditions at Gaelscoil Bharra’s temporary prefabs in Cabra, which are dilapidated, leaking and without proper sanitation and heating, just before Christmas
The irate and frustrated Cabra locals boarded a bus to Cork to protest outside Minister Batt O’Keeffe’s office in his home constituency to highlight the “deplorable” situation.
Paul Mac Sweeney, spokes­person for a committee calling for a permanent premises for the 220-pupil school, explained why they feel “enough is enough”.
“Unbelievably, 13 years after opening, the school is still housed in prefabs, and we are no nearer to securing a permanent building for our children,” he said.
“These prefabs are dangerously overcrowded and heating and sanitation are sub-standard.“Over the years countless requests and representations have been made to the Department of Education and Science.
“Their response has been to promise much, but do nothing. It is an absolute scandal that despite all the talk, nothing has happened.”
The Irish-speaking school has been operating from temporary prefabs in Cabra since it was first established in 1996.
Celine Kelly, whose 10-year-old daughter attends the school, said the children and staff deserve a better facility.
“As parents we are exasperated, frustrated and very angry,” she said.
“The school’s headmaster has been a teacher for 20 years. And 18 of these have been spent teaching in a prefab. This is a disgrace. Our children have a right to be educated in a safe and healthy environment. It is the State’s obligation to ensure this. We are not willing to wait any longer while our children’s health and safety is at risk.”
Meanwhile, the Department of Education revealed that meetings have taken place between the department and Dublin City Council regarding the potential availability of a site.
“The department has written to the council with a proposal suggesting a lease arrangement be put in place,” a spokesperson told Northside People.
 “A response is awaited. When the department has received that response, it’ll be in a position to consider the next steps.”
It is understood that a meeting between Dublin City Council, the department and the school will take place in the coming weeks on the matter.
The meeting was welcomed by Dublin MEP Mary Lou McDonald (SF).

Source: http://www.dublinpeople.com/index2.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1449&pop=1&page=0&Itemid=57

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