Joy as St Mochta’s new school given green light

by Ian Begley

St Mochta’s NS has been given the go-ahead to proceed to tender for their new school just one month after students and teachers were told that development would not begin this year.
Once complete, St Mochta’s will have 4,791 sq metres of new accommodation and a 32 classroom school.
The school is being contacted directly by the Department of Education’s School Building Unit with details on the project and the funding (€10m) amount awarded.
Minister Leo Varadkar said: “I am delighted that the Department of Education & Skills has been able to allocate funding to allow St Mochta’s to go to tender.
“This has been a long journey for those involved and I wish them every success with their build.
“Fine Gael in Government is determined to ensure that our recovering economy can benefit everyone in society.
“Our children should be number one on this priority list and it is really important that they can learn in a safe and modern environment,” he said.
This news came just one week after a large number of children from St Mochta’s marched to the Dail to highlight their undisputed need for a new school building.
Welcoming the Minister’s announcement, the St Mochta’s Build Action group stated: “We would appear to be back underway! This is great news but we’re not at the end of the road.
“The St Mochta’s Build Action Group would like to thank the community as a whole for their tremendous efforts in getting us to this stage, and hope that you will remain with us on the journey to getting the school built. We deserve this.”
Following years of campaigning, parents, teachers and pupils say they were led to believe by the Department of Education that the construction of the €10m building would soon begin.
However, in a letter sent to the school’s board of management last month, they discovered this would not be the case.
This will mean that approximately half of the school’s pupils and teachers will remain in prefabs for at least another year. Some of the issues affecting them include overcrowding prefabs, leaking roofs and only one PE hall to accommodate 907 children.
Deputy Ruth Coppinger (AAA) said she believes the announcement by the Department was linked to the timing of the general election to minimise St Mochta’s becoming a live issue in the Dublin West constituency where ministers, Burton and Varadkar, were candidates.

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