The Taoiseach has told the Dáil that the Government will resolve the issue surrounding the opening of schools affected by the closure of Carillion, the British company responsible for the design, build, finance and maintenance of six new schools across the country.

The company collapsed last week.

It was part of a consortium contracted to build five schools and one further education centre in Ireland as part of a Public Private Partnership.

These projects have now been thrown into doubt by the collapse.

Leo Varadkar was responding to Labour leader Brendan Howlin, who asked the Taoiseach when teaching would begin at the schools affected.

Mr Varadkar assured Mr Howlin that it would take "a couple of weeks to sort it out" and added that even if it was not a Public Private Partnership, a similar situation could have arisen from a public contract.

He added it is a matter of priority for the Government, the Department of Education and the National Development Finance Agency to resolve the issue

Earlier, the remaining shareholder in the consortium contracted to build and maintain the schools said it was surprised at the speed of the collapse of Carillion, and the impact it could have on completing the projects.

In a statement, Dutch Investment Fund says its top priority is to resolve this complex situation as quickly as possible.

However, it says it is inevitable there will be a delay while dealing with the subcontractors and all other stakeholders in the projects.

The company says it appreciates how disappointing this must be to parents, pupils, the local authorities and other stakeholders, but they are currently speaking to everyone involved to try to find a way forward.

Fianna Fáil has requested a special debate in the Dáil on the fallout from the collapse.

The party's education spokesperson, Thomas Byrne, called for Minister for Education Richard Bruton to answer questions in the Dáil on the collapse.

Speaking on RTÉ's Today with Sean O'Rourke, Mr Byrne pointed out that he raised concerns about the collapse of Carillion a week ago and he was reassured by Mr Bruton, who said there were no problems with Carillion projects.

The principal of a school in Co Wicklow that was due to get the keys to its new building this week said it is "outrageous" that their move to the new facility has been delayed as the school is in "dire straits".

RTÉ News can confirm that a Carillion site in Bray, where two schools are being built, has been shut down.

This morning, some sub-contractors were on site removing equipment.

A worker from the Salmon Group, which is the main sub-contractor, said that they were now securing the buildings.

He said there is a lot of valuable equipment, such as woodwork and home economics materials, in the buildings. He said the buildings are 98% complete.

The principal of Coláiste Ráithín, Gearóid Ó Ciaráin, has said he is concerned that the schools cannot move into the badly needed building.

Mr Ó Ciaráin was due to receive the keys to the new building from Carillion on Monday, but now does not know when the handover will take place.

Mr Ó Ciaráin said the school had been waiting since 1995 for the construction of a new building and it is "such a pity" that with the building now up and running that they are in this situation.

The principal of Loreto College in Wexford said they were hoping to be in their new building today, but in the absence of a green light from the Department of Education to proceed the decision was taken not to move.

Also speaking on Today with Sean O'Rourke, Billy O'Shea said they are hoping the pieces will fall into place to allow them move in on Monday 19 February.

Mr O'Shea explained that Carilion had been employed to manage the school and grounds and that a replacement company now has to be found.

He added that the school was unsure if a replacement company was being sought.

Mr O'Shea said the school had been reassured since the collapse of Carillion that things would be okay, but that those hopes have not been realised.

Yesterday, workers were told to go home from a site outside Carlow town where Tyndall College and the Carlow Institute of Further Education and Training are being built.

Carillion was a 50% shareholder in the consortium, which had been engaged to construct the buildings and maintain them for 25 years.

A PPP is a mechanism whereby the State outsources public projects to the private sector. It is widely in use in the UK but has proven controversial there.

Under a PPP, the State begins to pay for the project once the buildings are complete. So the State has paid almost nothing as yet towards these projects, worth around €100 million.

In a statement yesterday evening, the National Development Finance Agency said it is now up to the PPP consortium's funders and remaining shareholders to intervene and implement rectification measures to ensure the projects are completed.

It has confirmed that the State is not obliged to make any further payment until the full works and services are satisfactorily delivered for each school.

Additional reporting by Ailbhe Conneely