Gallagher lobbies for Cootehill schools

The temporary classrooms on site at the Holy Family School in Cootehill are to be removed once the new school is complete. Last week it was announced that the new €13M school in Cootehill will be finished by the end of the year. Education Minister, Norma Foley, confirmed that works on the Cootehill school should be finished in December.

In a communication from the department to Senator Robbie Gallagher it was stated that as part of the project the contractor provided an eighteen classroom temporary school on a site near the school.

The temporary classrooms are owned by the contractor and are located on a site rented by the Department until the new school is ready for occupation. The school will not require the temporary classrooms once their new school is completed.

The letter from the Department to Senator Gallagher said: “The temporary accommodation has a limited planning permission linked to the school building project. It is not owned or controlled by the Department of Education. It remains entirely the responsibility of the contractor and is scheduled to be removed once the new school is complete. The land on which the temporary classrooms sit is not owned by the Department and is leased on a short term basis for the purposes and term of the school building project only.”

Senator Gallagher has also raised an issue regarding St. Aidan’s Comprehensive in Cootehill. He asked why no progress has been made on a building request despite continuing appeals. The email to the Department quotes a school source: “We, in desperation to sort out our serious issues, put in an emergency application for roof leaks, mould repairs and critically a new heating system, all of which have been refused. Now, with Covid-19, the fact that our canteen, sports hall, woodwork rooms are just not fit for purpose has also been highlighted again. It is so frustrating that these issues all could have been addressed by the Department long before now.”