Joe Behan - Independent Councillor - Wicklow County Council

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Schools Building Project now a Mess

Archive Statements > 2018

Schools Building Project now a Mess
6th April 2018

News that Sammon, the building contractor for Coláiste Ráithín and Ravenswell N.S. is now taken into interim Examinership may not be good news for the students and teachers of these schools.

While the schools have been assured that a plan was in place to have the schools ready for this September, they are now at the mercies of a court-appointed interim Examiner as well as a Japanese Bank and a Dutch Infrastructure Fund.

The Sammon Examinership case is not due back in court until April 16th while the closing date for bids to complete both Bray schools is this week. It is unclear whether a Sammon bid will be selected but whether it is or not, the current uncertainty must give rise to serious concerns that the completion process may now be further delayed.

It is now almost 3 months since the collapse of the Clarillion group which were originally contracted to build these two schools. In the case of Coláiste Raithín, the building is practically ready to be occupied and still the Minster for Education has failed to allow the teachers and students to access the building. Remember this is all going to be paid for by the taxpayers of this country one way or the other and still students and staff are forced to continue working in grossly unacceptable conditions in their present buildings.

I again call on the Minster for Education and the 5 Wicklow T.D.s to put emergency legislation through the Dáil immediately to allow the Government, on behalf of the students, teachers and the Irish taxpayers to take ownership of the buildings and complete them. To those who dismiss this idea, I say that when banks, beef barons and insurance companies were in deep trouble in the past, there was no problem at all in pushing emergency legislation through the Dáil overnight to allow the state become owners or rescuers of these entities. Surely the lives and educational achievements of our greatest resource, our young people, are also worthy of our protection.

In my view, the political leadership of this country has treated this issue far too complacently and instead of acting with utmost urgency it seems to be relaxed about the whole mess. It is time for those who represent the interests of the people of County Wicklow and particularly the school communities of Colaiste Ráithín and Ravenswell N.S. to speak out on their behalf and relentlessly campaign for these schools to be opened without delay.

Cllr. Joe Behan


Serving the people of County Wicklow since 1985 |

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