A new building for Gaelscoil Donncha Rua in Shannon has moved a step closer to construction with confirmation that a design team has been appointed to start the architectural and planning process.

Clare Fine Gael TD Joe Carey was told by Education Minister Joe McHugh in the Dáil last week that a service level agreement has been signed with the Limerick and Clare Educational and Training Board (LCETB) who are responsible for delivery of the project.

“These are the first major steps in the design and construction stages.The design team will now design the buildings, obtain the necessary statutory planning permissions and move the project onward to construction in due course.

As the project is at an early stage in the delivery process, it is not possible at this time to give a date for its completion. However, Minister McHugh has assured me that he has been pressing the Department to ensure there are no delays in allowing the project proceed to the construction phase as quickly as possible,” Deputy Carey explained.

“Gaelscoil Donncha Rua is one of the most successful schools of its kind in the country, despite the fact that classes have been held in prefabs for the past 35 years and the board of management have been paying more than €84,000 a year on rent.

“It is the only Gaelscoil within a 15 mile radius, serving children from the local area as well as Sixmilebridge, Newmarket-on-Fergus and Quin. It is also the only primary school in Shannon that has an ASD unit catering for 12 children with autism,” Deputy Carey added.