Tuesday, 11 June 2019

Questions (234)

Robert Troy

Question:

234. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Education and Skills his views on the fact that children diagnosed with autism have to travel to Kinnegad, County Westmeath, twice daily to attend school there due to the delay in the completion of a new school (details supplied). [23431/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Education)

I am aware of the delays in the project to which the Deputy refers which, as he knows, has been devolved for delivery to Westmeath County Council (WCC).  

My Department has worked closely with the school authorities and the patron of both schools in question to put in place contingency arrangements in the event that the project is delayed beyond September 2019. I am very disappointed to say it now appears that the building will not be ready then. The school authorities and patron for the relevant school in Kinnegad have also kindly agreed to temporarily provide accommodation for a number of special needs pupils as an alternative to home tuition for those children. The Department will be providing the funding needed to facilitate this arrangement.

I fully appreciate the anxiety and frustration of all the stakeholders awaiting the completion of the Curraghmore project that have been caused by the very significant delays in its delivery. I can assure them all that WCC, supported by my Department, is continuing to pursue the contractor for as speedy a delivery of the project as possible. Hopefully the arrangements in question will only need to be in place for a very short time.