Back To School Safety


Belmayne Educate Together National School, Dublin; Cian O’Callaghan

Fire safety audits commissioned by the Department of Education have found breaches of fire safety standards at five recently-built primary schools.

The schools are Gaelscoil Clocha Liatha in Greystones, Co Wicklow; Mullingar Educate Together, Westmeath; Powerstown Educate Together National School, Dublin; Belmayne Educate Together National School, Dublin; and St Francis of Assisi National School, also in Belmayne, Dublin.

The schools were under a rapid-build programme in 2008 by a company called Western Building System   The fire inspection reports were carried out in early 2016.

Cian O’Callaghan writes:

The current government is neither media shy nor averse to publicity. Yet when it comes to school fire safety there hasn’t been any comment from Minister for Education Richard Burton

Here are five questions that he should answer:

1. Why when he was appointed as Minister for Education in May 2016 did he not insist that urgent remedial works in five primary schools, that were subject to fire safety audits, were carried out immediately?

2. Why were these fire safety audits withheld from the boards of management of these schools despite numerous requests for them to be made available and why was this important information withheld from parents?

3. Why were fire safety audits in all other rapid build schools not carried out as a matter of urgency?

4. When will fire safety audits in all rapid build schools be completed and when will any necessary remedial works identified commence?

5. Why did his Department not ensure independent inspection of these rapid build schools at time of construction and are any measures in place now to ensure independent inspection of new build schools for compliance with fire safety regulations?

Cian O’Callaghan is a Social Democrats councillor on Fingal County Council. Follow Cian on Twitter: @ocallaghancian

28 thoughts on “Back To School Safety

    1. Cian

      Okay, I’ve read more on this story and it looks like the remedial work is progressing and will be completed by October.

  1. Gay Tea Shop

    How could this be right? Aren’t Educate Together schools made from steamed-off, recycled non-combustible compressed 35 euro a pop Prosecco bottle labels from Electric Picnic?

    Or is that just the parents?

  2. bisted

    …the Soc Dems seems to have become a flag of convenience for ex-labour opportunists who know the old-guard have queered the pitch for the new generation of trough snorkellers…and it’s ‘averse’ Cian…

    1. Sheik Yahbouti

      So? A new home is needed for ex Labour voters who’ve been cruelly betrayed. Do you really have a problem with that? Must EVERYTHING remain fixed and static?

      1. bisted

        …it wasn’t voters who betrayed anyone, it was the politicians in whom they placed their faith. I’m ashamed to say that I was a labour supporter but never again…while I respect the democratic process I won’t participate in it…

        1. Sheik Yahbouti

          bisted, as I’ve stated before on this forum, I’m a life long Labour voter (NEVER AGAIN) I’m painfully aware of the level of betrayal. Again I ask, are we not permitted to seek a new home? Must EVERYTHING in this effin country remain fixed and tribal?

          1. bisted

            …I speak only for myself…I’ve lost all faith in the body politic and simply don’t believe anything any politician says…

          2. realPolithicks

            “…I speak only for myself…I’ve lost all faith in the body politic and simply don’t believe anything any politician says…”

            Maybe you should get involved in the process yourself and see if you can make a difference?

          3. bisted

            …I have been involved to a greater or lesser extent for many years…I am deeply ashamed that I believed the weasel words of people that I worked for and tried to encourage others to vote for them…I come from the ‘stickie’ tradition and am particularly embarassed by the likes of Gilmore and Rabitte…sackcloth and ashes for me as Rev Ian once suggested…

          4. realPolithicks

            Fair play to you for getting involved in the first place although if you you worked with someone like Pat Rabbitte I can understand your cynicism, that guy is the very definition of a snake oil salesman. I do believe that there are some good politicians out there, Catherine Murphy and Clare Daly come to mind so don’t completely despair. What needs to happen is for the Irish people to somehow break free of the malise that has them voting for the same crap parties for the past one hundred years.

  3. Sham Bob

    This would be a resigning matter for Bruton in the ethical transparent government that FG used to pretend to believe in.

  4. dav

    Quality irish builders, building and standards all on show there – doesn’t matter if it’s a ff government or a fg government – nothing will be done to change things..

    1. Boj

      So how do you convince the electorate not to vote for them? I mean there are a million blatantly obvious reasons but yet here we are…again! You, like myself, seem to have resigned to the fact that we are perpetually fupped.

      1. Cian

        Its the same all over the world – tower block in London last month? The balcony disaster in the US a few years ago. All due to shoddy building and non enforcement of standards.

        1. A snowflake's chance in hell

          It’s NOT the same all over the world

          Within the United States for example zoning and regulation enforcement varies greatly

          For a few years here we had the beginning of strong systems with the assigned certifier system but good old Paudie watered it down last time out.

  5. John

    Are these Public Private Partnership schemes? If so why would we pay for substandard buildings? Are the payments stopped until the buildings are made safe?

  6. Kolmo

    Self-Regulation = No regulation.
    “Fkit, let’em burn, the government is actively and ideologically opposed to regulating us”- Self-regulators annual meeting, probably..

  7. Sheik Yahbouti

    A matter of tremendous importance. The necessary remedial works MUST be carried out. yesterday. Further, every cent of profit should be clawed back from these criminals and the nod and wink merchants who awarded the contracts. This poop is NOT funny

      1. Sheik Yahbouti

        It had effin better – just for jaysis once. If enough stink is raised about it at least partial restitution may be made. Contact the Bureau of Good News – I’ll be doing so. Lobby you local idle git of a TD – Kiddies’ lives were put at risk, for profit – this is not a debate point in the abstract – real lives, of real children, were put at risk through negligence and greed. This is not a subject for cheap point scoring.

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