12 June 2003 Edition

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TD slams plan to sell school site to developers

Dublin South Central Sinn Féin TD Aengus Ó Snodaigh joined parents, teachers and pupils of St Brigid's National School in the Coombe in a picket of Dublin City Council on Monday night. He has called on the Minister for Education to intervene immediately in negotiations with the Council and private developers to secure a Cork Street site adjacent to St Brigid's National School in the Coombe on which a new school was to have been built to replace the current crumbling building.

"This school is more than 100 years old," said Ó Snodaigh. "Like many old schools, it is run down. It is a health hazard to all who have to work in it. The main problem is that it has no space for the teachers and children and there are no alternative buildings in the area to which to transfer the school while refurbishment takes place. There are also no alternative sites available.

"The Department has already recognised this fact in that it allowed plans to be drawn up for the site in question. It is not acceptable by me or to the many teachers, parents and children who attend the school, that the land adjacent be sold off, and that negotiations then start again with some random developer. The fact is that selling the land to private developers and then expecting them to facilitate the making of space in whatever apartment development they design is also completely unacceptable.

"Dublin City Council is trying to sell this land for one purpose only, its tax designation expires this month and it could do nicely with the §5 million plus prices that seem to mentioned. This matter has therefore become urgent and I am asking the Minister to intervene.

"The Minister insists that he is committed to the educational needs of children in areas that have suffered disadvantage, unemployment and poor educational standards. If so, let him put his money where his mouth is on St Brigid's School."

An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1

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