29 October, 2018 - Update on WBS Building Issues

The Department of Education and Skills wishes to provide an update on the programme of structural assessments which have been conducted to date on schools constructed by Western Building Systems.

Good progress continues to be made in relation to the programme of structural assessments and the target is to have all the initial assessments concluded by tomorrow evening, 30 October.

It is expected that the outcome of a number of ongoing assessments will be made known to the Department tomorrow and these will be communicated to the school authorities in the first instance. The initial feedback appears to indicate that this will be positive in many cases but the final analysis has yet to be completed.  

Minister for Education and Skills, Joe McHugh T.D., was in Tullamore today to meet with the Secretary General and officials of the Department’s Planning and Building Division who are managing the response to the current situation, including the ongoing programme of structural assessments, mobilisation of engineering solutions, where required, and contingency planning for interim accommodation.

Minister McHugh said:

“Very good work has been done by the team over the weekend and our target is to have all the initial assessments concluded by tomorrow evening.

A great team effort is being put in by everyone both within the Department and with the engineering teams carrying out the assessments.

Good progress has also been made in putting in place interim accommodation solutions for Tyrrelstown ETNS, St Luke’s National School and Gaelscoil Eiscir Riada in Lucan. My Department’s team is liaising closely with the relevant School Principals in relation to the practical arrangements.

Contingency planning is continuing in the event that, following structural assessments, other schools require some classes to be moved off-site. The Department has received many offers of support and assistance from schools, clubs and community groups in relation to alternative accommodation options, and I would like to express our great appreciation for this support.”

A further update will be provided tomorrow, 30 October.