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Thursday, 8th February 2024

Educate Together Secondary School parents furious over three year building delays

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“No more excuses, no more delays” say parents

“A disgraceful failure” says Nash

Three years after the Drogheda Educate Together Secondary School opened and with twelve million Euros already spent on “temporary” classrooms, parents at the school are furious that the Department of Education has still not applied for planning permission for a permanent school building.

Needless to say, parents at the school are very unhappy that their children’s education is taking pace in prefabs and there is no space for sports.

Rory Scott, the guardian of a student in 4th year said. “Three years later I never thought we would be still fighting to see the planning permission lodged and that the children wouldn’t have a blade of grass to play on.
“Shame on the department of education, the landowner and the local politicians for not fighting for our kids.

“I’ve already accepted that Andrew will finish his secondary school in a prefab building but surely he can kick a football on some of the hundreds of acres of grass surrounding the school before then. 

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“I commend the teachers for the great education our kids are getting at Educate Together but for the sake of the future students it’s time for the landowner to sign any consent forms needed now, give land for playing pitches now and for the Minister for Education to take the bull by the horns now, get all the stakeholders in a room and get the school built asap. - no more excuses, no more delays!” 

Local TD Ged Nash said he is furious over what he said was “the disgraceful failure” of the Department of Education to submit a planning application for the permanent school building for

“Last March, Minister Foley confirmed to me in the Dail that the planning application for the permanent school was only weeks away from hitting the planning desks in Meath County Council. We are still waiting.

“Now, I am told that a letter of consent is required from ‘an adjacent landowner’ before a planning application can be made.

“I am furious at the disgraceful delays in getting the permanent school to planning.

“To date, well over €12 million of taxpayers’ money – and counting – has been spent on temporary facilities for the school.

“We are now three years on from the threats to close down the site and move the DETSS to another location in Drogheda and still no planning application.

“Last March the Minister for Education told me that the tender process, following any grant of planning, will take a further eight to ten months, and construction could take an additional 82 weeks on top of that.

The Louth and East Meath Labour TD said: “The Drogheda Educate Together Secondary School badly needs this new accommodation to meet the demand for places at what is a fantastic school. The demand for places at the Mill Road school speaks for itself in terms of the school’s success.

“With major costs already incurred and the clock-ticking, the Department of Education should now use every means at its disposal to fast-track the development of a much-deserved permanent school building for DETSS.”

Elizabeth Donnelly a parent of a 2nd year and 4th year student in the School said. " It is simply not good enough that we as a community are still fighting for planning permission to be lodged for our school, the broken promises made by the minister are disgraceful.  

“We are very lucky to have amazing teachers and staff at Drogheda ETSS, but we need more facilities to both support them in their role and give our children the education they have a right to.

“We are surrounded by land and yet have no green space for sports, which are vitally important for our kids physical and mental health.  We need a larger assembly hall that would also allow for physical activities.  We need lunch facilities to cater for our children. 

 “What exactly is the delay? What are we still waiting for? 

A letter of consent from an adjacent landlord owner? Where is the land that was publicly promised to both Colmcilles and DETSS by Shannon Homes for sports facilities? 

We need answers! Not more delays! 

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