The Department of Education has clarified details of the findings of a risk assessment carried out at Ardgillan Community College last Friday.

It says the assessment found that there was an 80% risk of parts of the school external wall falling if the structure itself was damaged in the storm force winds. This could be bricks dislodging and falling outwards.

Structural engineers who examined the school also found a 20% risk of collapse of internal walls under the same circumstances.

The Department of Education said yesterday that issues discovered in two Tyrrelstown schools yesterday were similar to those found at Ardgillan.

Those two schools, Tyrrelstown Educate Together and St Luke's National School, have been closed due to safety concerns.

More than 1,200 children attend the schools.

The schools in question were all built by Tyrone-based construction company Western Building Systems.

Another Dublin school that was inspected yesterday evening over concerns of structural flaws in the walls will not have to close, the Department of Education has said.

While the final analysis of Gaelscoil Teach Giúise in Firhouse has yet to be completed, the department says that nothing has arisen from the assessment that would warrant the closure of the school.

A spokesperson told RTÉ News that while "issues" were identified during the inspection they were not of such a magnitude as to necessitate closure.

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Minister for Education Joe McHugh gave more details of the assessments being carried out by structural engineers at the schools in question.

He said they were checking to see whether there were sufficient number of wall ties in place.

These are the cables that secure outer and inner walls.

They are also examining whether timber frames are bolted to steel girders or not.

The minister said there were "a lot of inefficiencies here and we have to follow them on safety grounds".

He said that if necessary people would be brought in from London this weekend to ensure that all schools are assessed over the weekend and coming week.

Mr McHugh said it was unlikely all the schools would be forced to close, but he said there was an indication some would have to, adding the safety of students and teachers came first.

Department of Education officials will meet representatives from the company, Western Building Systems, that constructed the more than 40 schools currently undergoing or awaiting structural examinations.

The company has issued a second statement this evening, saying it is important that accurate information is established.

Referring to fire safety assessments that were carried out in 31 of the schools over the past year it says it has only received reports for 20 schools, and has responded to each in full.

It says it continues to await receipt of the 10 outstanding reports.

On the structural assessments the company says it has only received a draft report for one school.

WBS says it wrote to the Minister for Education today (Wednesday) seeking an urgent meeting.

It says it was contacted by the Department of Education this afternoon and invited "to engage in the assessment process for Ardgillan Community College, Tyrellstown Educate Together National School and St Luke's National School, Mulhuddart".

These are the three schools that have been closed on the basis of structural concerns. 

It says it welcomes this development "as it allows for a better understanding of why these schools, previously deemed compliant by the Department, have now been closed".

The company has reiterated that the compliance process which regulated the building of these schools included on-site inspections by Department appointed inspectors every two weeks, plus monthly on-site inspection meetings with the Department's inspectors.

It says that projects were only deemed concluded once a completion certificate was issued by the Department's inspectors - as was the case, it says, in these schools.

'Difficult to find alternative classroom accommodation' - Varadkar

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar told the Dáil that it will be difficult to find alternative classroom accommodation for students affected by the closure of schools with structural defects.

Fianna Fáil's Dara Calleary said parents were getting a "drip drip" of information, making it difficult for them to plan their lives, and the lives of their children.

Mr Varadkar said there was an information deficit because the Government did not have all of the information it needed.

He said the target was to have interim accommodation available for students after the mid-term break next week.

But an assessment needed to take place to determine whether the structural defects only affect schools built during the 2008-20014 period, or whether it affects schools built outside of that time.

He said engineers were also trying to determine whether the problem affects only three-storey school buildings.

List of affected schools


Cara Junior (Special) School, Mayfield
Scoil Phádraig Naofa, Rochestown
Carrigaline Educate Together National School
Gaelscoil Mhichíl Uí Choileáin, Clonakilty
Macroom Boys National School


Broombridge Educate Together National School
Lucan Community National School
Scoil Aoife, Citywest
Scoil Chaitlín Maude
Luttrellstown Community College
Scoil Choilm, Diswellstown, Porterstown
Gaelscoil Eiscir Riada, Lucan
Lucan East Educate Together National School
Tyrrelstown Educate Together National School
Ardgillan Community College, Castlelands, Balbriggan
Griffeen Valley Educate Together National School
Rush and Lusk Educate Together National School
St Francis of Assisi, Belmayne
Belmayne Educate Together National School
St Luke's National School, Tyrrelstown
Castlemills Education Centre and Flemington Community Centre, Balbriggan
Firhouse Educate Together National School
Gaelscoil Teach Giuise


Letterkenny Educate Together National School


Galway Educate Together National School


Scoil Phadraig Naofa (phase two)
Athy Model School
Gaelscoil Atha Í, Athy
Gaelscoil Mhic Aodha, Kildare


Portlaoise Educate Together National School
Gaelscoil Portlaoise
Maryborough National School
Portarlington Convent National School


St Paul's National School, Ratoath
Gaelscoil Tulach ne nOg, Dunboyne
De Lacy College, Ashbourne
Gaelscoil na Mí, Ashbourne
Ashbourne Educate Together National School


Greystones Educate Together National School, Blacklion, Greystones
Gaelscoil na Clocha Liatha, Greystones


Mullingar Educate Together National School


St Joseph's National School, Gorey

"One thing we need to assess is whether this only affects schools built during the 2008-2014 period, or whether it may also affect schools build during the last couple of years.

"And as well as that the schools that had been closed are all three story schools, we don’t know yet if the structural flaws apply to single storey or second storey schools, it will take all of next week, if not the week after to establish the extent of this problem."

Mr Varadkar said it was going to be difficult to find 25 classrooms for the students already affected.

"Everything will be done to find accommodation nearby, but it is going to be difficult.

"We also need to carry out the necessary structural investigations to get a full scale of the problem," he said.

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The Department of Education says the 40 schools affected have been contacted by phone and email and the Department will continue to keep them fully updated on developments.

It says arrangements are advanced for structural assessments to be carried out on all school buildings constructed by Western Building Systems using a particular construction method; that of steel frame and timber infill.

It says assessments will occur at the 40 schools tomorrow, over the weekend, and during mid-term break. 

Relevant schools will be informed as soon as a time and date has been confirmed for their assessment.

Former principal of Tyrrelstown Educate Together Maurice Hurley, who retired three years ago, said they had concerns from the very start.

"The front doors nearly collapsed - they nearly killed someone.  They were just on a small spindle, top and bottom and the door just fell. Fortunately a man caught it," he told RTÉ's News at One.

"Another one was a glass wall - about 30 metres high - it was wobbling. It was braced on a temporary basis".

"The guttering ... fell down from a third-floor building ... there was only a few screws in it".

Meanwhile, Tyrrelstown Community Centre has also been closed due to structural issues at the adjoining school campus.

This was due to be used as a polling station in the Presidential Election and referendum on blasphemy on Friday.

Fingal County Council has said voters will be able to vote at Le Cheile Secondary School, Hollystown Road, Tyrrelstown instead.

Additional reporting: Justin McCarthy