‘The Schools Were Built Under A Fast Track System’


Structural concerns at 40 schools built by Western Building Systems will be assessed

Minister for Education Joe McHugh said there would be an assessment of all 40 schools built by [Tyrone construction firm] Western Building Systems including those constructed after new regulations came into place two years ago.

…The Minister said they would establish a chronology of what schools would be assessed first.

The schools were built under a fast track system introduced over a decade ago before stricter regulations were put in place in 2014.

All 40 schools built by Western Building Systems to be inspected (Irish Times)

Western order book ‘strong’ as company builds for the future (Irish News, November 23, 2017)

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35 thoughts on “‘The Schools Were Built Under A Fast Track System’

  1. Martco

    my understanding is that this isn’t as technically bad as is being made out.

    I smell a spin cycle. this more political than practical….more Leo situation room nonsense.

    1. postmanpat

      Your probably right, a faux crisis that will be solved to make certain parties involved look like heroes because they prevented another Grenfell tower. Remember Grenfell? Sad wasn’t it! We stopped another one!! this time with tiny kids!!! It wouldn’t be beneath politicians to use a tragedy to further an agenda which serves as a handy distraction, (as if we weren’t already distracted enough by phony elections for silly figurehead leaders , who want to be treated like the Queen for 7 years and embezzle money) And while everyone is looking one way, who knows that land or mineral rights are being sold out from under us ?

    1. postmanpat

      And pulling hundreds of kids out of school, disrupting their education just so score some cheap political points. Its a farce. If I was the parents of kids going to this school Id raise hell. There’s nothing wrong with these schools and less affluent families are being disrupted because they are just pawns. . Surely it can wait until the summer to look into it, if its real , which its not. Jesus , I spent 3 years in a manky prefab when I first went to secondary school. The whole story stinks.

        1. postmanpat

          And you know if they tried to yank a hundred kids out of Belvedere at the start of a school year under spurious talk of the building being kind of… maybe , sort of but…. not actually unsafe, the parents wouldn’t stand for it. But in Finglas , yeah . make a big spectacle, cause massive disruption. Cite nebulous “safety concerns” What the hell does that even mean? If the building are standing for 10 years they are hardly going to tumble down on the poor little children’s soft swishy little heads before July next year. What are the actual odd of something happening?

          1. Nigel

            Listening to an ex-principal talking about the state of his school, and it sounds like you are completely and utterly wrong about this.

    2. edalicious

      Just fyi dav, it’s “nth” not “ent”. It comes from scientific/mathematic usage where the letter “n” is used as place holder for any number.

  2. ollie

    There were issues identified in October 2015 with schools built by Western Building Systems. The taxpayer has alreadt spend €1.3 million in repairs.
    There’s something very odd going on here.

  3. Joxer

    What engineer signed off on these schools? Who inspected them and signed them off as fit for purpose? irrespective of whether this was fast track, slow track, takes 10 years to build there is a quality control process that needs to be adhered to and health and safety aspects too. This is taxpayers money that is being used here and there needs to be an accounting for every cent and for every cent there needs to value for money not some bodge job.

  4. JunkFace

    Why keep hiring Irish Construction companies when they are always taking shortcuts and flouting building regulations to skim money off the top? Is it misguided patriotism, when they repeatedly cheat and scam clients?

    Do not hire corrupt Irish Construction companies! Shop abroad, they have higher standards.

      1. JunkFace

        No, they don’t if you ask for them to specifically work for you. They do it in the UK a lot. Bring in a German firm including their workers and equipment. You can also state no local builders wanted.

  5. Bruce_Wee

    My Son and Daughter attend one of the schools in question. The communication with the school has been pretty good given the serious nature of the issue. The facts are that this was raised when their was an issue with the current Fire security in the schools and now the closer inspection has found faults with the structural integrity…The best sound bite was ” it would appear they were built too quickly!” . The company in question are based in Tyrone, not that it matters really. Still a massive blunder against the department of Education. Who ever signed off on the schools should be let go but it will never happen.

    1. dhaughton99

      Any idea what the problem is? They said about opening walls and fire safety issues. Is it just a lack of fireproof insulation?

      1. dav

        the key rule here is that walls, buildings etc ……“have a fire resistance of one hour or more [and] should be constructed of materials of limited combustibility….
        Fire proofing costs money and lowers profit, it’s easy to see what happened here.

  6. Reidman

    Procurement process the driver here, lowest price wins the job in the public procurement model. Still is the case. I’d imagine it was self-certified, probably as a design and build.

  7. Dub Spot

    “‘The Schools Were Built Under A Fast Track System’”


    ‘The Schools Were Built By Transition Year Students’

  8. A Person

    The integral integrity of the ground floor timber frame walls was found to be deficient and the external wall – brick skin was leaning out. How the eff can you make this a political issue ahead of the safety of kids. Your Sir are truly a tin hat.

  9. Ian-O

    Not familar with this particular case (yet) but its beyond sick that you literally build a death trap in this country and you and all those who sign off on it are essentially immune from anything greater than a fine.

    Unless I have that wrong, but I don;’t think I do!

  10. :-Joe

    Just caught a soundbite off the wireless…

    40 Schools in total

    20% chance of a window falling out or a leaf wall collapsing inside and flattening a child into a pancake…

    I laughed and cried a little bit in equal measure at the same time…. now I just feel no emotion… nothing at all.


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