Clifden to get new post-primary school in latest round of funding

After many years of waiting Clifden is to finally get a new post-primary school following the allocation of funding which was announced yesterday. A number of other schools in the county will also benefit from extensive refurbishment works.

The Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairí Quinn, made the announcement of an additional €50 million investment in new school building projects as part of the Government’s ‘Investing in Infrastructure and Jobs’ package. The new funding will enable 28 new school building projects to go ahead around the country including a replacement school for Scoil Phobail in Clifden as well as extension and refurbishment works for Scoil Naomh Mhuire (primary ) in Oranmore, Holy Rosary College (post primary ) in Mountbellew, St Raphaels College (post primary ) in Loughrea, and SN Sailerna, Indreabhán.

This latest round in funding brings the Department’s total investment in these new school projects to €100 million, with the balance coming from the existing €2.2 billion school building budget for 2012 and 2016. This week’s funding allocation will see 18 primary schools and 10 post primary schools replaced or refurbished to provide state-of-the-art classrooms and facilities for more than 12,000 students. The 28 schools are in addition to the 275 major school building projects announced in March 2012 under the Five Year Plan. The schools that will be replaced or refurbished have completed extensive architectural planning already and can progress quickly to tender and construction before the end of the year.

There had been severe criticism expressed by local representatives when the announcements under the Five Year Plan in March last year failed to include a new school for Clifden with some describing it as shocking and anti-rural. Clifden based county councillor Eileen Mannion has welcomed the news that a new school will finally be built with work expecting to commence this autumn.

Also welcoming the decision by Cabinet was Galway West Fine Gael deputy Seán Kyne who said: “This announcement will improve facilities for school children as well as providing construction jobs.”

Making the announcement, Minister Quinn said: "This highlights the Government's commitment to prioritising investment in school buildings. Despite our economic difficulties, the need to replace inadequate educational infrastructure remains, and this stimulus package means that we can continue to deliver for our growing school communities. These projects will see over 10,000 students and their whole communities benefit from state-of-the-art accommodation, not to mention the economic boost to the construction industry."


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