The Educate Together national school for Malahide-Portmarnock is currently operating 4.5 km from both communities. While that might not seem too far if one is outside Dublin, it is a very significant distance in an urban environment, in particular given traffic on the Malahide Road. It is also accommodated in an unsuitable facility which is in effect a former third-level agricultural college. We are expending considerable moneys to facilitate the school there. The difficulty is that there is considerable demand for that particular school which is growing at a significant rate. However, it is growing in the wrong community and it is not serving the community for which it was designated.
The secondary school has a school principal but no school building. It was supposed to open last year. While I appreciate the sensitivities around land acquisition, the Mooretown site was identified by myself and other councillors over a decade ago, but we are no further along the road of identifying a site that can be acquired in the Malahide-Portmarnock community area. I appreciate that the Department has particular budgetary constraints but if we designate an area for a non-denominational school, we have to back it up with the purchase of a site. I cannot understand how we are no further along three years later with the secondary school delayed and no site for the primary school.