The principal of an Ennis primary school principal says it would be ‘financial madness’ for the government to provide extra classrooms to the school without building a sports hall alongside it.
Gaelscoil Mhíchíl Cíosóg had been allocated funding for classrooms and other accommodation last year.
The school on the Gort Road in Ennis is one of Clare’s largest primary schools, with 480 pupils – its student body has nearly tripeld since 2006.
€3 million in funding was granted to the school by the Department of Education last year, under the State’s Additional Accommodation Scheme, for seven new classrooms and ancillary accommodation to cater for this rise in the number of pupils attending the school.
However, as of yet, there is no agreement in place for a gym facility or an assembly hall to accommodate students.
The Department has instead advised the school to apply for funding for this under a separate capital scheme – Project Ireland 2040 – and say it’s not possible for to fund a general purpose room out of the original application under the Additional Accommodation Scheme.
School principal Donal O hAinifein has branded this suggestion as ‘crazy’.
The Minister of State for Special Education says her department is still considering funding for the hall in Gaelscoil Mhíchíl Cíosóg.
The school community has raised €100,000 as a contribution for the hall and has offered this to the Department to fast track the work.
Responding to questioning in the Seanad from Clare Fianna Fail Senator Timmy Dooley, Minister Josepha Madigan says it is a project her department wants to see come to fruition.