Scoil Naithí to remain closed for the week after fire

At least four classrooms burned down in blaze at Ballinteer gaelscoil in Co Dublin

 

The Scoil Naithí primary school in Ballinteer will remain closed for the week after a fire on Monday morning “extensively damaged” the south Dublin Gaelscoil.

A statement on the school’s website on Tuesday morning said the board of management was working hard to ensure the school is re-opened as soon as possible.

In a message written in Irish and English, the board thanked the local school community and wider community for all the messages of support following the fire.

It said the board of management had met on Monday evening to discuss the outcome of the fire and that “a number of official agencies are assessing the situation”.

The board added that it would be in touch with parents and the local community with an update before the end of the week.

Four classrooms were burned down in Monday morning’s blaze, according to a Facebook post from local Senator Neale Richmond.

He posted on Monday night that the Department of Education had sent a surveyor and architect to the school in order to assess the damage while a Garda forensic team investigated the scene.

Mr Richmond added that the Minister for Education had “promised to provide all assistance possible to source temporary accommodation if needs be.”

Four units of Dublin Fire Brigade were called to Scoil Naithí primary school on Stone mason’s Way in Ballinteer after a fire was reported at 4am on Monday.

The fire brigade fought the fire for more than three hours and left the scene at 7.15am. There were no injuries in the incident.

The cause of the fire and the extent of the damage is still unknown although there have been reports of a break-in.

According to a Dublin Fire Brigade spokesman, the period of time spent battling the blaze indicated there could be significant damage to the building.

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Shane Ross posted on his Facebook page on Monday that he planned to contact Minister for Education Richard Bruton to establish what funds could be made available to reopen the school.

He wrote: “Absolutely devastating news about Scoil Naithí in Ballinteer. Thankfully, no one was hurt. I am going to get in contact with Minister Bruton today to establish what funds can be made available to ensure the school is reopened as quickly as possible.”

Local Rathdown TD and Green Party deputy leader Catherine Martin also called on the Department of Education to support the school community of Scoil Naithí following the fire.

In a statement on Monday, Ms Martin said: “This is a terrible blow to the entire school community of Scoil Naithí in Ballinteer. The school was being examined and assessed when I called down to the site this morning. The Department of Education and Skills must do everything they can to support the school in every feasible way.”

There are 250 students in the southside Dublin gaelscoil plus an additional forty students in the Naíonra (pre-school).

The school was founded in 1973 and was officially opened in 1980 by former taoiseach Charlie Haughey.