Statement from Aodhán Ó Ríordáin
Vice-Chair of the Jobs, Social Protection & Education Committee
Labour Party TD, Dublin North Central
Labour Party TD Aodhán Ó Ríordáin has today welcomed the announcement of the Government’s new five-year school building programme. The programme will see approximately €1.5 billion invested in primary and post-primary schools up to 2016 in order to provide greater capacity for the rapid rise in student numbers.
Deputy Ó Ríordáin stated: “I greatly welcome the announcement made by the Minister for Education Ruairí Quinn today that €1.5 billion is to be spent on the school building programme over the next five years.
“This programme is another example of the Minister and the Labour Party delivering on their Programme for Government commitment in terms of education. This ambitious plan will see 275 major projects completed over the lifetime of the Government with over 100 new school buildings at primary level and 43 new schools at second level.
“Moreover, this building programme will also ensure that an estimated 15,000 direct and 3,000 indirect jobs will be created over the next five years. This is another very welcome aspect of the announcement today and it represents the kind of multi-faceted approach that is needed in order to expand resources and spur employment.
“As our students numbers continue to rise, it is absolutely essential that we continue to provide the best facilities and surroundings for the pupils and educators in our schools nationwide. Like every other department, education will have to do more with less over the coming years as we bring our budget deficit under control and get our economy back on track. However, Ruairí Quinn’s ambitious programme of investment and reform will do a lot to protect the most vulnerable areas of the system.
“At a time of national crisis, I am proud that the Labour Party in Government have ensured that the problems in our education system, such as capacity, will be addressed now and not put on the long finger when brighter days come around. I very much look forward to working closely with the Minister as he tackles the various challenges facing education over the lifetime of this administration.”