Local TD, Denis Naughten has confirmed that negotiations on the purchase of a site for St. Teresa’s Special School, Ballinasloe have fallen through but that the Department of Education is now engaging with another landowner on the purchase of a site.
“We had received positive news last May that negotiations had commenced with a landowner on the purchase of a site for the construction of a new purpose built building. While it is disappointing that these talks have fallen through, I hope that the talks on the alternative site will lead to a positive outcome for local pupils”
“The school is currently accommodated in the Ballinasloe Enterprise Centre in Creagh and negotiations have now commenced with a second landowner on the purchase of a site for the construction of a new purpose built building” said Denis Naughten.
Deputy Naughten received the reply from Minister Joe McHugh after raising the matter on the floor of Dáil Éireann recently.
He pointed out to Minister McHugh that he was highlighting the issue on behalf of more than 20 students and 15 staff of St. Teresa’s Special School who are currently located in temporary accommodation on the grounds of the former psychiatric hospital at St. Brigids in Ballinasloe.
He told the Dáil that “we need a clear commitment of funding for this project. For far too long children with special needs have had to travel great distances to access education. We now have a facility on our doorstep and we need a commitment that the money will be put in place to allow for the construction of a purpose-built school for the children of Ballinasloe, east Galway and south Roscommon”.
Link to Dáil debate: https://youtu.be/3ykg8GWvXrs
For Written Answer on : 02/10/2019
Question Number(s): 126 Question Reference(s): 40005/19
Department: Education and Skills
Asked by: Denis Naughten T.D.
To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the progress to date in developing a purpose-built school for the pupils of a school (details supplied) further to the private members debate in Dáil Éireann of 25 September 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Details Supplied) St. Teresa’s, Ballinasloe, Co. Galway
The Deputy will be aware that a major capital project for the school in question is included in my Department’s school building programme to be delivered as part of the National Development Plan. This project necessitates the acquistion of a new site and a number of site options were identified by Galway Co. Council. These were comprehensively assessed and a preferred site option was identified and negotiations entered into between the Department and the Agent for the Vendors. Unfortunately, the Vendors subsequently withdrew from the process.
However, a potential alternative site option has been identified and discussions are ongoing with the Landowner with a view to acquiring this site. Please be assured that this Department is doing all it can to progress the matter. The school has been notified accordingly.