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Concern raised for future of school construction projects

25 January 2018

Construction projects up to a value of 100 million euro are in doubt following the liquidation of Carillion, according to the Belfast Telegraph.

Following reports that work has stopped on a number of sites, Irish Education Minister Richard Bruton has faced calls to answer questions on the impact of the company's failure.

It was previously confirmed that Carillion had been involved in public private partnerships (PPP) to build new facilities in Loreto College, Wexford, Colaiste Raithin and St Philomena's Primary School in Bray, Co Wicklow, Eureka Secondary School in County Meath and Tyndall College and the Carlow Institute of Further Education in County Carlow.

The Belfast Telegraph quoted Loreto College principal Billy O'Shea, who had been due to receive the keys for new facilities for 900 students when the news of the company's collapse broke.

The college has been "repeatedly told" that it "should be OK", said Mr O'Shea: "There's a lot of goodwill and hopes that we would be able to move in."

It is now hoped the new buildings will be accessed in February when a new FM arrangement is put into place, according to the Belfast Telegraph.

It further reported Fianna Fail education spokesman Thomas Byrne said: "Five schools across the country are completely unsure as to what will happen to their building projects, and to their future maintenance services due to the collapse of Carillion."

Although assurances had been made that the projects will be completed, Mr Byrne said sub-contractors had expressed concern and called for more details on what will happen.

Sinn Fein's Kathleen Funchion said Minister Bruton and the Education Department was responsible to ensure that projects were completed without further disruption.

"Our schools cannot be at the mercy of the result of PPP when it goes wrong," she said.

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