Mixed response to news of schools funding

Two Kilkenny schools are included in the five-year capital investment plan announced by the Government – news that has been welcomed by Labour Deputy Ann Phelan but criticised by Fianna Fáil Deputy John McGuinness as not going far enough.

Two Kilkenny schools are included in the five-year capital investment plan announced by the Government – news that has been welcomed by Labour Deputy Ann Phelan but criticised by Fianna Fáil Deputy John McGuinness as not going far enough.

Deputy Phelan said the news was an indication that “the government is prioritising jobs in the construction industry” and that “schools which have not been included in today’s plan, but which were announced for initial inclusion in the building programme, will still progress to final planning stages in anticipation of further funds being available to the Department.”

She said the five-year plan would “facilitate schools’ plans to meet local demand for places and will provide greater transparency in the operation of the school building programme.”

Deputy McGuinness called it a “funding snub,” however.

“I am hugely concerned that schools throughout Kilkenny have been overlooked,” he said. “The minister (of education, Ruarí Quinn) announced 219 new school building projects today and Kilkenny received a paltry two. Loreto Secondary School has already been granted funding, with the previous government responsible for putting in the groundwork and bringing about the new buildings. The extension for St Brigid’s Girls School in Callan won’t take place until 2016 at least, by then the lifetime of this government will be up and the project could very well get lost.”