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Cllr Emer Higgins brings Minister for Education to visit schools in need of investment in Lucan and Rathcoole

“Schools in Lucan and Rathcoole will have a bright future as long as they see increased investment from Government”. That’s according to Fine Gael bye-election candidate Cllr Emer Higgins who brought Minister for Education, Joe McHugh to visit local schools today (Monday).

“It was really useful to bring Minister Joe McHugh to visit some of our local schools today. I am prioritising better education and more school places for our local children. We really need more investment in schools in Lucan and Rathcoole and I wanted Minister McHugh to see first-hand the needs of our community.

“It was great to bring the Minister to Griffeen Community College which currently operates from Kishogue Community College and badly needs its own school built. A Service Level Agreement has been prepared between the Department of Education and the Education and Training Board and the Minister committed to ensuring that was urgently tended to. I look forward to seeing progress for this school.

“I was also delighted to bring the Minister to St Thomas JNS and Scoil Aine SNS where their school building projects are currently at an advanced stage of architectural planning known as Stage 2(b) Detailed Design. This includes the application for Planning Permission, Fire Cert and Disability Access Cert and the preparation of tender documents and all statutory approvals have been secured.

“I know there have been some delays with the Architect and Quantity Surveyor withdrawing from the project but the Minister assures me that a tender process to replace both roles will commence shortly.

“My old school, Holy Family Community School in Rathcoole, is also in need of investment and I was pleased to bring the Minister there today. A brief change request relating mainly to structural and foundation works for the new building was reviewed and approved by the Department of Education last year and the design team is currently completing the Stage 2(b) report and upgrading the current design to ensure that the new school building is a Near Zero Energy Building.

“All school building projects now are achieving best practise in energy efficiency and will move forward with a green ethos. As we all know school children have been leading the way recently in terms of climate awareness.

“In bringing Minister McHugh to visit these schools, teachers and students were able to engage at the highest level in relation to the requirements for a better place in which to learn.”

Cllr Higgins continued: “In addition to the schools visited today, Lucan Community College has a design team working on stage 2 report and it will be submitted to the Department of Education by the end of the year. Again the design team are ensuring that the new school building is a Near Zero Energy Building (NZEB).

“Divine Mercy is also making good progress with its design team doing a final review of the tender documentation.

“Scoil Chronain is in the process of acquiring additional land owned by South Dublin County Council adjoining the site of this school, and the additional land offers the potential to enhance current facilities and support future development.

“I’m also visiting St Joseph’s in Lucan this week to discuss the delays in their building project. It is crucial that this project is progressed for the good of the local school going community.

“Coláiste Chillian in Clondalkin had good news last Friday with the announcement by my Fine Gael colleague, Junior Minister for Sport Brendan Griffin, of €130,000 in sports capital grants.

“There is a bright future ahead for our local schools and I will continue to keep the Minister for Education up to date with progress and fully briefed on the needs of our community”, Cllr Higgins concluded.

Fine Gael candidate in the upcoming Dublin Mid-West bye election, Cllr Emer Higgins, has said that 12 sports clubs in Dublin Mid-West are to receive €770,624 in Government funding through the Sports Capital Grant.

Cllr Higgins said: “I am delighted that the funding announced today is going to benefit 12 clubs in Dublin Mid-West. Between them they will receive €770,624. Active engagement in sports not only helps keep young people healthy, but also builds confidence, independence and promotes team building.

“This important Government funding will greatly benefit sports clubs across Dublin and the rest of the country over the coming year. The Sports Capital Programme was re-instated by Fine Gael in 2012, after it was cut by Fianna Fáil in the wake of the economic crash. It is a real lifeline for teams, clubs and organisations here in our local area.”

Cllr Higgins was speaking as the successful applications under the Sports Capital Projects (SCP) were announced by Minister of State with special responsibility for Tourism and Sport, Brendan Griffin and Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross.

Cllr Higgins continued: “The clubs and projects in Dublin Mid-West to benefit are:

“Slade Valley Golf Club; Lucan Athletic Track (SDCC); Pitch 13 Griffeen Valley Park (SDCC); Clondalkin Cricket Club; Coláiste Chillian; St ,Finian’s GAA; St Francis Football Club; Beech Park Golf Club; Commercials Hurling Club; Lucan Golf Club; Lucan Pitch and Putt Club; and Peamount United.

“I know that the local clubs and organisations receiving this funding today will make great use of it to the benefit of local communities.

“It is so important to encourage people to play sport. Not only is it good for their physical health but it benefits their mental health too. Supporting sports teams, clubs and organisations is also tantamount to supporting community engagement, and helps to foster strong community spirit.

“Investment in sport is also a really worthwhile policy objective for Government from a health point of view. Society reaps the rewards through improved health of the population. This is more important than ever with the rise in obesity.

“I look forward to continued success for all of our local clubs and sporting organisations,” said Cllr Higgins.

Some €320,000 has been allocated for improvements to 3 towns and villages around Dublin, including €200,000 for Rathcoole.

Cllr. Emer Higgins said: “I am delighted to confirm Rathcoole has been allocated €200,000, for the refurbishment and upgrade of the Rathcoole Courthouse and Public Library. This funding is extremely welcome news for Dublin, especially residents of Rathcoole."

“These excellent initiatives will ensure our smaller towns and villages are more attractive and sustainable places in which to live and work. The funding, allocated under the Town and Village Renewal Scheme, is a key part of the Action Plan for Rural Development and the Government’s Project Ireland 2040 Programme for Rural Regeneration”.

“The benefit of previous funding under the Town and Village Renewal Scheme is now being felt countrywide and I am delighted today that even more areas in Dublin will benefit from the funding.

“Almost €68 million has now been approved for more than 830 projects across the country under the Town and Village Renewal Scheme since it was introduced in the second half of 2016, with more than 600 of these approved since the Action Plan for Rural Development was launched in January 2017.”

Minister for Rural and Community Development Michael Ring said: “Interest in the Town and Village Renewal Scheme this year was very high and the scheme was heavily over-subscribed. It was not possible to fund all of the applications received, but I am pleased that many of the towns and villages which have been successful this year are receiving funding under the Town and Village Renewal Scheme for the first time.

“I want to thank the Local Authorities for engaging with local communities in these instances to help them to identify good projects which have merited support.

“The Government’s commitment to supporting rural Ireland is further underscored through the €1 billion Project Ireland 2040 Rural Regeneration and Development Fund which complements the Town and Village Renewal Scheme and provides an opportunity to deliver more integrated and ambitious projects which will further support the revitalisation of our rural towns and villages.”


Emer Higgins #1

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