Two Irish schools closed over health and safety fears

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Two schools in Dublin, have been closed due to suspected structural safety fears

An additional forty schools, also built by Western Building Systems are now being inspected by officials in Ireland.

The Irish schools, Tyrrelstown Educate Together, and St Lukes National School in Mulhuddart, west Dublin were closed by officials on Tuesday.

The Irish Times reported that safety fears began when a wall was opened during a fire safety audit, where a structural engineer revealed missing and inadequate ties joining the interior and exterior walls.

Commenting on the news, Education minister Joe McHugh said: “While we await the outcome of further structural assessments, we would wish to be clear that school buildings will only be closed where it is deemed necessary to do so, and every effort will be made to minimise disruption to students, staff and families.”

He went on to tell RTÉ’ Ireland’s National Television morning programme that schools had been built “too quickly”.

Western Building Systems has stated that on completion of the schools, the Department of Education would have issued a certificate to say the buildings were “substantial”.

It has also been reported that throughout 2008 and 2013, the government used a combination of modular construction methods in order to react to a limited amount of school spaces during this time.

Officials have revealed that 25 schools out of the 42 currently being inspected were built during this period.

The Department of Education and Skills stated that the Irish schools in question were in fact built with a steel frame and timber infill method.

The latest update from the department has said six schools have now had the okay to reopen fully after the half-term break on November 5th without needing any repairs.

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