This week is always tinged with sadness as we remember the tragic 48 young lives lost in the Stardust Fire on St. Valentine’s Night 1981. This year marked 38 years since the devastating fire and relatives and victims have still to receive justice and closure. The Stardust Relatives’ and Victims’ Committee held a short protest outside Leinster House on Thursday, the 14th and also held an evening vigil at the Stardust site. Charlie Bird unveiled a very impressive plaque with the names of the 48 victims of that fateful night.
I share the sentiments of Deputy Boyd Barrett. Since 2008 or 2009 in particular Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael Governments have decimated the public capital programme and resorted to this PPP approach. Recently, a colleague of the Minister’s, Andrew McDowell, previously his party’s main economic adviser, told the Committee on Budgetary Oversight why we should use PPPs and try to keep projects off-balance sheet. At the end of the day, the people, the State and especially the communities affected by the building projects at Coláiste Ráithín, St. Philomena’s, Tyndall college, the Eureka secondary school and Loreto college are having to pick up the pieces for a failed and short-sighted Government policy.
Deputy Broughan welcomes the announcement by the Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton, at Darndale Junior N.S that 79 new schools will join the Delivering Equality of Opportunity in Schools (DEIS) Plan from September this year. However, Deputy Broughan has queried the omission of St Joseph’s CBS Primary School, Fairview, from being awarded DEIS 1 status.