Independent TD Mattie McGrath has said the failure of the Department of Education to progress the much needed amalgamation of Cahir boys’ national school and Our Lady of Mercy national school in Cahir, County Tipperary, is an unmitigated embarrassment for the department. Deputy McGrath was speaking after he raised the matter in the Dáil yesterday with the Minister for Education, Richard Bruton:
“I have come across some very lethargic government responses to important issues in my time, but this issue is almost in a league of its own.
Amazingly, it has been continuing now for more than 18 years years.
I have been pursuing various governments and different ministers about the amalgamation since 2009.
The question of the amalgamation however goes back even further still.
In 2002 a technical report was put forward for the amalgamation of these schools.
Then in April 2004 all parties approved a further technical report and an amalgamation process.
The amalgamation schedule was approved and agreed and the boards of management of both schools agreed to put a special needs unit on the site.
In 2009 I was told here in the Dáil by a Minister of State that the amalgamation and school building project for the primary schools in Cahir, County Tipperary, would be considered in the context of the Department’s multi-annual school building and modernisation programme.
Since then however all we have seen are evasions and the usual departmental guff in reply to any questions that have been asked.
It is simply disgraceful that two excellent schools, who each have their own their set of challenges, should be treated in this lazy manner.
I am again appealing to Minister Bruton, to do what his predecessors either could not or would not do, and progress this amalgamation as quickly as possible,” concluded Deputy McGrath.