Rath Dara school in ‘dire’ need of refurbishment, says Donnelly

Gary Ibbotson 01 Dec 2021

Dublin West Sinn Fein TD Paul Donnelly has called on the Dublin Dun Laoghaire Education Training Board (DDLETB) and the Minister for Education to provide the required funding for the immediate upgrade of Rath Dara Community school, formerly known as Riversdale CC.

His call comes after parents of pupils are planning on staging a protest outside the school gates on Wednesday, December 1.

In a statement, Deputy Donnelly said the school is in urgent need of a refurbishment.

“I understand the anger and frustration of parents, students and school staff with the process that the DDLETB has undertaking in relation to the school.

“I will be standing with the parents on December the 1st at the school gates demanding that the school is refurbished,” he said.

Deputy Donnelly said that there are several problems with the school building that need to be fixed.

“This school has been in dire need of a refurbishment for the past number of years with leaks in the roof, falling ceiling tiles, poor insulation, damp caused by broken gutters among many other issues.

“To cap it off, they have now lost 40% of their school building to the new Danu special school who are presently in Hansfield Educate Together.

“Everyone I have spoken to say that they have no issue with Danu school, their issue is with the DDLETB management.”

He says that parents and staff feel that the new Danu school has received preferential treatment and Rath Dara Community School needs essential repairs.

“The parents, students and staff of Rath Dara have watched with anger as the Danu school section of the building is refurbished to a very high standard yet, their school has barely been touched with only promises so far of “some works” in the rest of the school.

“I met with the student council this week, who are very annoyed at losing their quiet room, a space that could go to relax, to take time out if they are stressed or need some space.

“They have now nowhere to go,” he says.

“Genesis counselling service have lost the room they were using, and they now have to double up with a member of staff and use their office.

“The students have lost their outdoor space for the last number of months and are all jammed together in a car park that is also used by the adult education centre on the site. This is unacceptable and unsafe.

“I have consistently raised this issue with the DDLETB and the Minister, however our calls for fairness and for funding for the refurbishment of the entire building is being fobbed off with promises.

“It makes no sense that the builders on site, construction the Danu section of the school cannot stay on site and refurbish Rath Dara.

“Action is needed now.”

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