Tuesday 23 April 2019

Gaelscoil back open after getting all-clear

Gaelscoil na gCloch Liath
Gaelscoil na gCloch Liath

Mary Fogarty

Greystones primary school Gaelscoil na gCloth Liath has re-opened following mid-term structural inspections.

The school was one of 42 built by Western Building Systems between 2009 and 2013 which was assessed in the past week.

'I am pleased to confirm that the Department of Education has now completed the assessment of Gaelscoil Na gClocha Liatha,' said Minister Simon Harris on Friday.

The school opened on Monday following the mid-term break with no additional works needed.

'We were very happy to receive confirmation from the Department of Education and Skills, following a structural inspection, that our building does not require remedial works. We opened as normal on Monday following the mid-term break. The structural inspection took place over the mid-term, and no disruption was caused to our school community,' said principal Rita Ní Thuathail.

The inspection was carried out the Saturday before last, with the report then sent to the Department of Education before the school was given the green light last week.

'Obviously this has been a very worrying time for the staff and parents of the school so I am pleased that assurances have now been given,' said Minister Harris.

Deputy Stephen Donnelly said that he is sure that pupils, parents and teachers will have been extremely relieved to learn that no major problems were found. The checks included a camera survey of the external walls, along with internal openings within the building.

Fire safety works to bring the school up to code were carried out earlier in the year, pending new fire certificates from the chief fire officer.

'Parents have been worried since claims emerged last month that the builder responsible for Greystones' gaelscoil was allegedly responsible for serious structural problems elsewhere,' said Deputy Donnelly. 'In fairness to the principal Rita Ní Thuathail though, she helped to ease a lot of fears by quickly contacting all parents, explaining the situation and showing how seriously they were taking their concerns by taking urgent action.'

Nationally, 19 schools were cleared to open without intervention. Nineteen other schools required precautionary measures in the form of a fence around the building, or part of the building, and protective decking. Three schools opened initially at ground floor level only, following theimplementation of internal engineering solutions and external precautionary measures and one building (part of Ardgillan Community College in Dublin) has been closed.

Western Building Systems is currently building the new Greystones Community National School premises. Chair of the board for that school Cllr Jennifer Whitmore said that they have sought assurances from the Department of Education and project managers KSNPM regarding the build in terms of fire safety and structural issues.

Bray People