The National Development Finance Agency has said it does not envisage a material disruption or delay to the progress of six school building projects following the collapse of UK company Carillion.

Carillion is a major provider of public buildings and services - including 900 schools - in the UK.

The construction and services company collapsed after banks refused to lend it any more money.

It throws hundreds of major projects in doubt and brings down one of the UK government's most important suppliers. 

It also has contracts in Northern Ireland with the Housing Executive and Power NI, which involves around 230 engineers and service providers.

Carillion is responsible for heating nearly 40,000 Housing Executive properties and the building maintenance of more than 20,000 homes.

Carillion was forced into compulsory liquidation after costly contract delays and a downturn in new business.

The company was contracted to build five schools and one further education college in Ireland under the latest Public Private Partnership deal reached by the Department of Education and the National Development Finance Agency.

Under the agreement, a company called Inspiredspaces - of which Carillion was a 50% shareholder - was to construct, operate and maintain the buildings for 25 years.

The NDFA said the contract with Inspiredspaces includes provisions that apply in the event of liquidation.

The value of the projects it is involved in is €100m and the agency confirmed the State was not obliged to make any further payments until the school buildings had been satisfactorily delivered.

The State has paid just over €4m for site works that have already been completed.

Minister for Education Richard Burton said he is confident that things will be worked through.

Asked who is the current owner of the buildings, the minister said the State is.

The other shareholder is a company called Dutch Infrastructure Fund. 


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The building at Loreto College in Wexford is substantially complete and students are scheduled to move in next week. 

At Coláiste Raithín and St Philomena's Primary School in Bray, the schools are almost complete.

Spokespeople for the schools told RTÉ News they were initially supposed to move in last November, but that was postponed until December, and again postponed until later this month.

Buildings at Tyndall College in Carlow and the adjacent Carlow Institute of Further Education are also almost complete, as is the Eureka Secondary School building in Kells, Meath.

Contracts were signed with Inspiredspaces in July of 2016. The contractor was to design, build, and finance the projects.

The State was to pay for the buildings over 25 years through annual inflation linked payments.

The first payment was due to be made following completion of the first school building.

Fianna Fáil's education spokesperson Thomas Byrne said the schools will be operated, but it would probably be easier if the State takes over operating them, as is the case in the UK.

He said the Minister for Education will have to decide if he wants to take over the contracts to run the schools or put them out to tender.

Speaking on RTÉ's Today with Sean O'Rourke, he said there would be a bigger problem if the projects were at an early stage of construction.

Mr Byrne said he was unaware of any other projects in the public sector that Carillion was involved.