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Schools to undergo risk assessments amid safety fears

More than 40 schools are affected.

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The Department of Education published a list of 42 schools where emergency structural reviews will be carried out (Barry Batchelor/PA)

The Department of Education published a list of 42 schools where emergency structural reviews will be carried out (Barry Batchelor/PA)

The Department of Education published a list of 42 schools where emergency structural reviews will be carried out (Barry Batchelor/PA)

The Government has ordered risk assessments to be carried out at more than 40 schools across the country amid structural safety fears.

The Department of Education published a list of 42 schools on Wednesday where emergency structural reviews will be carried out to determine whether the buildings could be potentially dangerous.

The review was announced after serious structural problems were uncovered at three schools in Dublin.

There are a lot of inefficiencies here and we have to obviously follow through on the safety groundsEducation Minister Joe McHugh

Two schools in Tyrelstown were forced to shut on Tuesday with immediate effect, while a building with 18 classrooms at a school in Balbriggan was closed last Friday.

Education Minister Joe McHugh said that the inspection works had already started and that he wanted the assessment to be completed by the end of the mid-term break next week.

But Mr McHugh said he expected that more schools are likely to have to close before the issue was resolved.

“There are a lot of inefficiencies here and we have to obviously follow through on the safety grounds,” Mr McHugh said.

The minister said he understood that parents were concerned not only about the safety of their children, but that they were also worried about organising childcare if the reopening of the schools were to be delayed.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar told the Dail that the full extent of the problem was not yet known. He added that it would not be easy to find alternative classroom accommodation for students affected by the closures.

More than 1,200 students attend the two Dublin schools, Tyrelstown Educate Together and St Luke’s National School, that have been closed.

The schools being examined are located across the country. They were built by Tyrone construction firm Western Building Systems between 2009 and 2013.

PA