Disappointment as Edmund Rice College build delayed

by Sylvia Pownall

A long-awaited new school due to be built at the Racecourse site in the Phoenix Park has suffered yet another setback and will not open until 2021 at the earliest.

Staff at the Edmund Rice College have expressed their disappointment that the school will have to remain in temporary prefab accommodation for two more years.

As recently as May, the trustees were told that the permanent school building would be ready in September, 2020.

But the Department of Education has issued a new timeline advising that, due to design issues and other pre-planning problems, it will not open until September, 2021.

Local Cllr Roderic O’Gorman (GP) told Dublin Gazette: “I know that parents are hugely disappointed to hear that there will be a one-year delay.

“A cynical person might think that the fact that the local elections, which took place in May, are now out of the way [and that this] may have contributed to this change in deadline.

“The location of this school on the racecourse site was announced on Twitter by the Taoiseach with great fanfare in 2018.

“I wonder will he be using Twitter to explain to parents and students why their school will not be provided in the timeframe originally commited?”

New school enrolment began in 2016, and at the time Mr Varadkar welcomed the ERST’s appointment as school patron as it would “give parents in the area more choice about the ethos in which they want their son or daughter to be educated”.

Last week, school principal Brendan Harrington wrote to parents advising them of the one-year delay, and expressing his disappointment and frustration.

He said: “We will need to stay in our current location until then [September 2021]. Obviously we are deeply upset by this development and have met with Department officials to voice our concerns.

“The Board of Management will continue to liaise with the Department.

“Can I please ask all parents to contact your local politicians about this matter.”

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