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School Building Scandal: How Richard Bruton Covered Up
Press Release - People Before Profit - 26th Oct 2018
Thousands of children are in danger of huge disruption to their education because of the school building scandal. About 40 schools are due to be inspected because of concerns about serious structural defects.
It has been paid over €80 million by the Department of Education since 2013.
Can the Minister explain the extraordinary fact that Educate Together repeatedly asked the Department of Education and Skills to release details of the building inspection reports and the Department refused to do so? This looks like an active attempt to suppress the fire safety issues affecting these schools, which is to my mind extraordinary and unconscionable. Can the Minister explain his statement that none of these schools was dangerous or posed a risk? This is an extraordinary statement. I have read the reports, which state that there were multiple breaches of the requirement for 60-minute compartmentalisation. It is not that the school could burn down in 60 minutes; it could burn down in ten or 15 minutes because where there is supposed to be resistance between units of 60 minutes, there was not.
Here is Bruton’s reply:
It is true that although we are carrying out an audit of every building constructed by Western Building Systems, the Department is confident that they are being built to the highest standards
In other words, even before the audit work was completed, Bruton went out of his way to express confidence in WBS.
Finally Richard Boyd Barrett asked Bruton if WBS was eligible for wining future contracts from the Department of Education. Bruton told him that they were.
In recent weeks, Bruton was moved out of the Department of Education and replaced with another Fine Gael TD.
Varadkar must have known that a scandal was brewing and with his usual PR tricks moved Bruton under cover of a cabinet re-organisation.
The reality is that Bruton should be sacked immediately and a short sharp investigation launched in to why WBS got away with poor standards for so long.
Once again, Fine Gaels’ love affair with big business is costing the Irish people dearly.