Clondalkin gaelscoil finally given land after 14-year wait in prefabs

A primary school in Clondalkin that has been housed in second-hand prefabs for the last 14 years has finally been assigned land on which to build a new school.

As reported by Village last year, Gaelscoil na Comóige in Clondalkin has been accommodated in prefabs since 1993. As far back as 1999, a site was promised for the school by the Department of Education and Science “within months”. In 2001 the Office of Public Works undertook to acquire a site on behalf of the department.
Last week the school, which has 220 pupils, announced that a site had been found in the nearby town of Deansrath. The land assigned to the school belongs to the local Vocational Education Committee. However, it may be four to five years before the building is completed.

There have been numerous problems with the existing school. In May 2006 a pupil, Liam Doran, 7, collapsed with heat exhaustion due to the lack of air conditioning in the prefabs.

The classroom sizes are far below Department of Education recommendations. The recommended classroom size is 76 square metres – the classrooms in Gaelscoil na Camóige are 46.5 square metres.

The school recently acquired an additional special-needs teacher who had to be accommodated in a cleared-out store cupboard. The local crime prevention officer has said that the school is unsafe due to a lack of security fencing, for which the department has refused to pay.

Although the announcement that land for the school had been found was welcomed, many parents have concerns about the school being relocated rather than built on its current location. The new site will be approximately 2.2 miles from the existing school. According to one local parent, it could take up to 45 minutes to drive to the new school from its current position in rush-hour traffic. Parents are considering fighting the location of the new school on these grounds. The new site is yet to be finally approved by the Department of Education and Science who will fund the new school. This is due to happen in the next few weeks.

Emma Browne