Monthly Archive for April, 2013

Education Minister shows he has no plan for Castleknock Community College extension

 

Attending the CCC Plant Sale, 2013

I’ve been contacted by a number of people in recent weeks regarding the lack of progress on the gym and 10 classroom extension for Castleknock Community College (CCC). I wrote to the Minister for Education, enquiring about the provision of funding, and I know the response (see below) will be deeply disappointing for students and parents alike.

The Minister would appear to have absolutely no plan to progress the extension. In his response to me, Ruairi Quinn stated that CCC was not included on the Department of Education’s 5 year building programme due to the “… need to prioritise the limited funding available for the provision of additional school accommodation to meet increasing demographic requirement”.

CCC is an extremely large school with over 1,000 pupils. A large proportion of classes have had to be held in temporary classrooms for a number of years. When the school increased its capacity to address the lack of second level places in the Carpenterstown and Castleknock area, it was understood that the necessary facilities would be provided to accommodate these extra students. As such, CCC has already acted to meet the increased demographic requirements in the area, and should be recognised as having done so.

Planning permission was first applied for the extension in late 2010 and was granted on 10th October 2011. However, the project still remains in the pre-tender stage and the Minister has stated that it is not possible to include this school on the current 5 year building programme. There is no indication of any timeline for when funding may be available.

In recent months, the Government has stated that the achievement of a deal on the Promissory Note has given the State some flexibility regarding our financial position. Surely, an excellent use for the money saved would be to invest it in necessary school infrastructure across the country. A well educated workforce will be the device that lifts Ireland’s economy out of the recession. Students and parents should be entitled to expect that this education will be provided in buildings of a reasonable standard.

I will continue to work with the CCC Parents Association on this issue.

Response – Quinn – CCC2

Fingal CC should seek funding for bridge over River Liffey to promote cycle tourism in west Dublin

 

Last year, Fingal County Council undertook a public consultation about the future of St. Catherines Park, and included on their list of proposed developments a pedestrian bridge over the Liffey. However, in the new public consultation document published this year, no reference is made to a pedestrian bridge. When I enquired why the bridge was omitted from the more recent consultation, Fingal County Council confirmed that this decision was made due to a lack of available funding sources.

I’m calling on Fingal County Council to seek funding from Government sources to finance this bridge. The Council has already been successful in obtaining funding from the Department of Transport to finance improvements along the Royal Canal between Blanchardstown and Ashtown.

Constructing this bridge would allow a key element of a Regional Cycle Route for Dublin to be completed. This would act as a major draw for cycling tourists, who more and more are choosing Ireland as a holiday destination. While building this bridge would be a large capital spend, we have to invest wisely in long term tourist infrastructure which will encourage people to holiday in Ireland.