I am writing to provide you with confirmation that the Department of Education has today issued the Letter of Acceptance to the contractor selected to build the new permanent school for Gaelscoil Bharra.
Since Friday, there has been huge concern about the delay in construction work starting on the new permanent school building for Gaelscoil Bharra. I have worked, over the past four days, with the Taoiseach and the Minister for Education to make certain that construction work begins within weeks on site. Following this morning’s meeting of the Cabinet, I can confirm that the Department of Education has issued the formal Letter of Acceptance to the contractor, selected to build the new school. This means work will begin within the next fortnight to deliver the new facilities that these children deserve the opportunity to learn in.
I have attached on the next page, a copy of the correspondence provided to me by Minister O’Sullivan so that you can see the confirmation that these works will now proceed.
As your T.D. and as a Cabinet Minister, I have worked with Muinteoir Sean, both the Parents’ and School Building Committees as well as the Board of Management in Gaelscoil Bharra to deliver a permanent school building. I will not, however, be satisfied until the first lessons begin in the new Gaelscoil Bharra and if re-elected, I will work to support that construction project.
PASCHAL DONOHOE T.D.
MINISTER FOR TRANSPORT, TOURISM & SPORT
FINE GAEL – DUBLIN CENTRAL
From: Minister for Education & Skills <MINISTER@education.gov.ie>
Date: 26 January 2016 11:50:55 GMT
To: DONOHOE Paschal
Subject: Gaelscoil Bharra
I refer to our conversations in relation to Gaelscoil Bharra over recent days.
The capital budget for the Department of Education this year is €545m – of which more than €420m or 75% will be invested in school building and refurbishment.
This is part of a €4bn capital investment in the education sector announced as part of the Capital Plan out to 2021.
Given the scale of this year’s capital budget it is important that it is managed effectively and prudently. This is a feature of every capital budget in every Department.
Before commencement dates can be entered into the Department needs to complete it financial planning exercise for this year.
This has resulted in a delay of a few weeks for a couple of projects, but has not as some have suggested meant that any project is cancelled or substantially delayed.
I can understand the frustration of parents and staff with any delays to school building projects, but it is important that we are prudent in how we manage our expenditure.
The work to profile expenditure for the year has now been completed. In relation to the specific project in Gaelscoil Bharra, this allows the Letter of Acceptance to issue to the contractor for this project today.
It is a matter for the contractor to determine when work will begin onsite, but work should certainly begin within the next fortnight.
This school has been in prefabs for 17 years, during which time successive Governments made many promises, which they failed to keep.
This Government, on the other hand, promised that building would begin on this project under the five year school building programme 2012-2016. As I have made clear, that will happen within the next fortnight.
As you know this Government, despite significant financial pressures, has continued to invest in new school buildings.
Since 2011 more than €2bn has been invested in schools infrastructure with more than 300 new builds or major extensions completed or underway.
It is an investment that this Government can be proud of.
Jan O’Sullivan, T.D.
Minister for Education and Skills