Exam students’ work damaged by Dundalk school fire

Junior and Leaving Cert pupils from St Louis will sit exams at Dundalk Institute of Technology

Classes are due to resume tomorrow at St Louis secondary school in Dundalk, Co Louth, which was damaged by fire at the weekend. Photograph: LMFM via Twitter

Classes are due to resume tomorrow at St Louis secondary school in Dundalk, Co Louth, which was damaged by fire at the weekend. Photograph: LMFM via Twitter

 

Project work belonging to examination students was destroyed in the fire at St Louis secondary school in Dundalk, Co Louth, over the weekend. Junior and Leaving Certificate pupils will now sit their exams at Dundalk Institute of Technology next month.

The school’s acting principal, Michelle Dolan, confirmed that technology projects by Junior Cert students were in the part of the complex that was burnt but said it has digital evidence of their work.

“The entire school will relocate for the next three weeks and for the duration of the State exams, if required,” Ms Dolan said. “Providing excellent teaching and learning to our students is our priority, as well as providing a safe and calm learning environment for all, including exam candidates while they continue to prepare for state exams.”

Classes resume tomorrow at the school, where a Garda forensic team has been continuing to investigate; a number of classrooms are unusable because of broken glass, lack of electricity and water, and smoke damage.

“The insurance company will send a professional team today to begin the clean-up,” Ms Dolan said. “We have made a lot of progress over the weekend and have had discussions with the Department of Education and Skills to begin planning to repair the school and replace lost rooms . . .

“We have also had reassurance from the State exams commission that they have a procedure in place to deal fairly with the exam candidates who have lost project work in the recent fire and will work closely with the school this week.”

The fire that threatened to take hold of the all-girls school may have been thwarted by a participant in the Darkness into Light walk on Saturday morning. A study hall and classroom in a wooden building at the rear of the complex, on Castletown Road in Dundalk, were completely destroyed, but firefighters prevented the blaze from spreading to the main school building. They were on site from 3am until noon on Saturday.