Responding to a question from Denis Naughten TD, the Education Minister stated that progress on the Cloonakilla NS project will be dependent on additional funds becoming available on Budget Day.
The Minister stated: “Whilst, it is not possible to progress all projects within the Department’s building programme to construction concurrently due to competing demands on my Department’s capital budget, the project in question is now well placed to progress to tender and construction in the event that further funding becomes available to my Department in the future”.
Commenting on the Minister’s response, Denis Naughten said: “It is “disappointing that the Minister is kicking this decision beyond bye-election polling day and as a result pupils and teachers will have to wait to see if money will be provided for school building projects on Budget Day on 14th October.”
Deputy Naughten pointed out that it is now costing over €100,000/year to rent prefabs, “money which would be far better spent on servicing a loan for a new school”.
“The school services the Monksland/Bealnamullia area, one of the fastest growing communities in the country outside of a major city, and further pressure will be put on the existing school facilities unless funding is made available in the current year,” concluded Denis Naughten.