I am delighted to announce the news that funding is secured and construction set to begin in 2012 for a new school at Ennis National School.

The school has been waiting for many years for progress on a new school befitting the current number of staff and students.   One third of students are schooled in pre-fabricated buildings and that this situation has been in existence for far too long.

The news today that despite the current financial difficulties a new school will be funded, is very welcome and highlights how much County Clare has benefitted from having three Government representatives in Dáil Éireann.

For a decade the far from satisfactory conditions at Ennis Boys National have been allowed continue. At present, there are 16 pre-fabricated classrooms in use to educate children at the school that has a student population of between 600 and 700.   Parents and staff stuck with this issue and ensured their voices were heard over recent years and they must be congratulated for this.

While previous governments gave commitments, we have now ensured that funding for this project is ring-fenced and committed to by the current Government.   Like all elected local representatives, I played my part in ensuring this came about. I invited former Fine Gael Spokesperson on Education, Brian Hayes, to visit the school and at the time he called it “the worst example of prefab accommodation in the state.”

I am happy to say that the school will be going to construction in 2012 and this will result in a new start for the pupils, staff and parents of Ennis National.