This week’s confirmation of Department of Education funding for an extension at Doolin National School will help secure the future of primary education in the area, according to Clare Fine Gael TD Joe Carey.

Deputy Carey, who has been campaigning for the Doolin school extension for more than a year, said that enrolment numbers had grown strongly over the past number of years and while this had resulted in the appointment of a fourth mainstream teacher, it also highlighted the need for additional classroom space.

“With 97 pupils now being taught by four mainstream and one resource teacher, it is clear that the existing level of classroom accommodation is woefully inadequate,” he explained. 

“At present there are 25 junior and senior infants  in a classroom designed to hold 12/15 pupils  and this has created a serious health and safety issue. Last year, before the latest increase in school numbers, this room was used for computers classes but these have been suspended due to lack of space.

“I have met with both the school principal Michelle Moroney and Board of Management Chairman Padraig Vaughan who expressed concern that the overcrowding issue was undermining their legal obligation to ensure that the school operated in accordance with Health and Safety legislation.

“They are delighted and relieved that work on the extension can finally go ahead.

Planning permission has already been secured for an additional classroom, resource room and universal access toilet.

“This is a most deserving investment and a practical example of the Government’s commitment to medium sized schools in rural areas,” Deputy Carey concluded.