Archive for March, 2009

13 blian ag fanacht ar scoil nua
13 blian ag fanacht ar scoil nua

 (Tuesday, 17 February 2009, Northside People, by  Aoibhinn Twomey)

THE Department of Education was accused of adding insult to injury last week when it failed to include a Northside rat-infested school in its new school building programme.
For the past 13 years, children, staff and parents of Gaelscoil Bharra in Cabra have lobbied the Government for a new permanent building to replace the 10 dilapidated prefabs, which currently house the school’s 220 pupils.
But their calls have fallen on deaf ears as yet again the Cabra school has been overlooked in the departments’ new school building programme.
When informed by Northside People that the school had failed to make the list yet again, principal Seån Ó Donaile reacted to the news with “frustration and disgust”.
“But at this stage nothing surprises us,” he said. “We feel the Department of Education is unbelievably incompetent so we don’t expect anything from them at this stage.
“We have put up with chronic, inhumane conditions for 13 years now so who’s to say we won’t be waiting another 13 years for a proper school.
“We are not asking for much. We are just fed up with having pupils in cramped, overcrowded prefabs that leak when it rains and don’t have heating.
“We have spent a fortune getting Rentokil to deal with the problem of rat-infestation.”
Principal Ó Donaile said that the school lost complete confidence in the Department of Education when they made a recent shocking discovery.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             “Back in 2000 an inspector completed a report recommending that our school was in dire need of a permanent building,” he explained.
“But we recently learned and were told by the Department of Education that this report and the school’s file went missing for over three years.
“It’s absolutely ridiculous and yet no one is answerable.
“We have had so many broken promises and we’ve been fobbed off by the department for so many years.”
He added: “There have been ongoing talks about where we will be moved to but nothing concrete has ever come of them so we take what the department tell us now with a pinch of salt.”
Parent Pol Mac Suibhne explained how parents would continue to lobby the Government until they get what they deserve – a new school.
“We had hoped to be on the new building list and this is just another setback for us,” he said. “Unfortunately it’s one of many we’ve had over the years.
“My daughter Ama is in senior infants and on cold and wet days she has to wear two pairs of socks and extra t-shirts to keep warm. Often she can’t even take off her coat, it’s that cold in her classroom.
“I know that in other prefabs they have to bang hurleys on the ground to scare off the rodents before the class can go into the classroom.”
The pupils, parents and staff of Gaelscoil Bharra took their protest to the Department of Education last Friday where they waved placards with special Valentine’s messages to Minister for Education Batt O’Keeffe including: ‘Roses are red, violets are blue, our school is cold, atchoo, atchoo’.
When contacted, the Department of Education stated its current position in relation to Gaelscoil Bharra.
“Officials from the department met with the council and representatives of [a local] GAA club on January 23 to discuss the issue of entering into a lease arrangement with the City Council which in time will require the GAA club to surrender its interest on some of the lands required for a building project,” he stated.
“The department has confirmed its intention, as sought by the local authority, to enter into negotiations in relation to the terms of a lease for the lands required.”


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