Collins tells Jan: ‘Get off the fence and decide on new school for Limerick’

Nick Rabbitts

Reporter:

Nick Rabbitts

Two new primary schools have been approved for the Mungret College site
COUNCILLOR James Collins has urged Education Minister Jan O’Sullivan to “get off the fence” and make a decision on a proposed new secondary school in Mungret.

COUNCILLOR James Collins has urged Education Minister Jan O’Sullivan to “get off the fence” and make a decision on a proposed new secondary school in Mungret.

The local Labour TD has issued a statement confirming funding is in place for a spur road linking Mungret with the two new primary schools which already have permission.

But Cllr Collins wants her to go further, and “push the button” to confirm a secondary school for the area.

“It [the secondary school] is under consideration since I have been on the council in 2009 and earlier. At the moment, all the open nights for secondary schools are taking place, and there are concerned parents and kids unsure about what school they will get into,” the Fianna Fail councillor said.

He accused some members of “playing politics” suggesting the Colaiste Chiaráin in Croom should be upgraded first. He said this needs to also happen.

“It is not one or the other,” he added.

A statement issued from the Department for Education stated that “significant funding” has been approved which “will enable the construction of a new road network that will enable two new primary schools to be built”.

Ms O’Sullivan said: “This new distributor road network will ensure that a suitable road scheme including pedestrian crossings and cycle lanes will be able to cope with the additional school traffic in the general Mungret area.”

But Cllr Collins said the statement is “misleading”, because: “The roads were always going to be built. It was only a matter of how much the department would contribute.”

And he said local residents feel their concerns have not been addressed, as the road will be a dead-end street from Moore’s Lane.

“What is required, and what residents want, is a road which would take them from Moore’s Lane over to the R526 which would bring you out opposite the Co-op Shop. Then you would have a real distributor road. What they are getting is a cul-de-sac. The solution here is not the solution they want,” he said.

The new road network around the proposed schools will cost in the region of €3.5m, with the Department of Education funding €700,000 of this. Limerick City and County Council will pay the balance.