Mayo Fianna Fáil TD Dara Calleary has expressed disappointment at the news that the Government only plans to invest in two schools in Mayo during the next five years which he said is worrying and an insufficient investment in education in the county.
Deputy Calleary was commenting yesterday (Monday) after the Minister for Education Ruairí Quinn published details of the School Building Programme. In the programme just two of the 275 school building projects planned over the next five years are in Mayo.
Deputy Calleary said while he very much welcomes the fact that the Government has committed to building a new special school on Pavilion Road in Casltebar in 2015/2016, this will be the only new school to go to construction in this county over the next five years. “The only other school in Mayo to benefit from this much-hyped five year building programme is Our Lady’s School in Belmullet; a refurbishment project which has been in the pipeline for some time,” he added
Meanwhile Fine Gael TD John O’Mahony has refuted claims by Deputy Calleary that Mayo is being overlooked in relation to education funding and he defended the Government’s decision to focus on ‘more rapidly developing areas.’
Two weeks ago it was announced that ten primary schools in Mayo, currently renting prefabs, will be offered grants to build permanent accommodation this year.
Speaking to The Mayo News about the latest announcement and responding to Deputy Calleary’s criticism Fine Gael TD John O’Mahony said: “Recently we had a list of schools using prefabs who were benefitting from a €35 million investment and Mayo was well represented. Obviously there seems to have been a focus on rapidly developing areas and of course there is a need for the development and refurbishment of schools in Mayo, and we’d all like to see that.”
Deputy O’Mahony added: “There are a number of projects in the pipeline and I hope when the economic situation improves we will be in a position to complete those. As you know this has come about by the worsening financial situation we now find ourselves dealing with, which is as a result of a sequence of events which the previous government played no small part in.”
Deputy O’Mahony said he hoped prospective projects at St Colmans College, Claremorris, Mount St Michael, Convent Of Mercy, Claremorris and St Louis Community School in Kiltimagh would be facilitated with other projects in Mayo during the coming years.
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