Like many in the constituency I am very concerned at the lack of progress on school building for the Edmund Rice school.

I had a meeting with the Principal of Edmund Rice about 8 weeks ago to discuss the current schedule as regards the permanent building for Edmund Rice. Subsequently, my office was in touch with the Department of Education.

The Department are working on the Framework of Contractors at the moment. This has to be done before the individual tendering for the school building can commence. The Department are now saying that they are aiming to have the first phase accessible sometime in the 2021/22 academic year. This suggests a departure from the Sept 2021 date.

I have been engaging with the Department of Education on this issue ever since the school was first announced. At the beginning of this year, I felt we had a final clear path towards delivering the school building in 2021. That timeline has now been pushed back again. I know that Covid has delayed almost everything, but this is no comfort.

Myself and my office are in regular contact with the Principal of Edmund Rice and his team in the school. We will liaise closely with them in relation to the new timeline outlined by the Department, and will touch base with them after each engagement with the Department to ensure that the revised timeline is being met.