Whitmore questions delay in fire safety report for Greystones school

5th September 2017

Social Democrat Cllr. Jennifer Whitmore has expressed her concern at the length of time it has taken to publish and act upon a fire safety audit of Gaelscoil Clocha Liatha in Greystones, following fire safety issues being raised with the Department of Education in 2015.

Whitmore said “A report issued today by the Department of Education has identified a number of breaches of fire safety standards in 5 schools across the country, including the Gaelscoil in Greystones. The report gave the result of fire safety audits that had been conducted in 2016 on a number of schools that had been built by Western Building Systems, as part of the Department of Education’s ‘rapid build’ school programme in 2008. Gaelscoil Clocha Liatha in Greystones was one of those schools.”

“The audit identified a number of deficiencies, including lack of illuminated signage, missing smoke seals and, importantly, that elements of the construction material meant that the required 60 minutes of retardation to facilitate evacuation would not be met. The audits detailed that immediate and essential improvement works should be carried out in the buildings to bring them up to fire safety compliance standards. It is expected that this work will be completed in October 2017.”

“Whilst I welcome the identification of the safety issues, I would have to ask how it has taken so long for the safety report to be completed and acted on.  This issue was raised with the then Minister for Education Jan O’ Sullivan in 2015, while the actual fire safety audits were undertaken in early-mid 2016. However, the report has only just been published this week. Most importantly, the works have not yet been completed. I find it difficult to understand how such a lengthy delay could happen, particularly when we are talking about a school and the safety of children”.