Home News Education Minister for Education to ‘examine’ Abbeyleix school as new building sought

Minister for Education to ‘examine’ Abbeyleix school as new building sought

Abbeyleix school

Minister for Education Norma Foley is to fully examine the issues surrounding the building at Scoil Mhuire in Abbeyleix.

Minister for State Sean Fleming confirmed that he held an extensive meeting with his party colleague and she has agreed to take a special interest in the school.

In January year, it was revealed that students are having to endure blocked toilets, the smell of sewage, a leaking roof and damp and cold conditions.

School principal Aidan McEvoy urged the Department of Education to proceed with a new build – but almost 12 months later, little has happened.

However, according to Mr Fleming, this is now going to change.

He said: “First of all I want to acknowledge the excellent case made by the School Principal Aidan McEvoy and Willie Swayne, Chairperson of the Board of Management in the detail briefing note that they provided for discussion with the Minister.

“This note on the dreadful state of conditions in the school dealt specifically with the roof system, sewerage system, insulation in the school building, the electrical system and serious and ongoing damp and mould issues in the school.

“I outlined the patchwork job that her officials had only allowed be completed during the summer and highlighted that it was a view of the school that it was an actual waste of taxpayers money because a proper re-assessment of the whole school should have been looked at.

“We have the unusual situation that sometimes an engineer comes from the Department of Education to see what is done and they have said “I’m only here to look at the roof, I’m not looking at the sewerage system or the rooms. A separate engineer will come back and look at another aspect”.

“There has been no proper joined up examination of the need for a new school or a total refurbishment of the school, by officials in the Department of Education.

“This is why I met directly with the Minister and she has given an undertaking to have the matter fully examined and reported back to her.

“I want to assure all the school community, both the staff, pupils and the parents and families involved in the school that this matter will be given urgent priority, to see the next step forward for the school.

“I want to assure everyone involved with the school that this is a top priority for me in my dealings with the Department of Education and I will report back as soon as I have further information on this matter.”

SEE ALSO – Serious issues with sewage and heating as new school sought for Abbeyleix

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Stradbally native Alan Hartnett is a graduate of Knockbeg College who has worked in the local and national media since 2008. Alan has a BA in Economics, Politics and Law and an MA in Journalism from DCU. His happiest moment was when Jody Dillon scored THAT goal in the Laois senior football final in 2016.