The company at the centre of this week's schools' safety assessments, Western Building Systems, has said it places considerable emphasis on delivering high quality work on each of its projects, and has always ensured compliance with regulatory requirements.

A statement from WBS was issued this evening as two Dublin schools were shut down today after structural problems were discovered in the fabric of the buildings.

The schools are Tyrrelstown Educate Together and St Luke's National School in Mulhuddart. More than 1,200 children attend the schools.

Structural engineers examined the schools today after issues were found in the walls of Ardgillan Community College in Balbriggan on Friday.

The schools are among more than 30 built in the past ten years by Tyrone-based company Western Building Systems.

Significant structural problems discovered at Ardgillan Community College last week

The two west Dublin schools will not open to pupils tomorrow.

Tyrrelstown Educate Together was built just seven years ago, in 2011.

In a statement issued this evening, WBS said that until now its integrity had never been questioned and that every school that it has built here for the Department of Education both before and since amendments to building regulations in 2014, were subjected to inspections during construction.

WBS says that "every time" each was certified as meeting compliance standards.

The Department of Education said it has initiated legal proceedings against WBS in relation to four schools.

This evening, the Department extended its structural examinations to all schools built by Western Building Systems, including those built in the past five years.

This brings the numbers of schools to be investigated to 40.

Until now the investigations were focused on 31 schools built between 2008 and 2013.

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However, this evening, Minister for Education Joe McHugh confirmed in the Dáil that schools built by the company since 2013 would also be assessed.

WBS is currently constructing one school, Shelleybanks Educate Together in Dublin.

In its statement this evening, WBS said it fully recognised that this was a very important matter, not least for the pupils, parents and teachers of the schools involved.

It said it was a "responsible, solutions focused" company in operation for 35 years.


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The company said it wanted to get to the bottom of the matter and was moving to intensify its engagement with the Department and other relevant bodies "to better understand the issues which have now arisen and to work to resolve them".

In relation to fire safety audits carried out at the 31 schools involved over the past year, the company said it had received "some rather than all". It said of those it had received it had responded, "with two exceptions which have only recently been issued to us".

WBS said it was writing to the minister on the matter and remains available to meet with him and his officials.

Minister McHugh told the Dáil that the two closures today followed a structural examination of Tyrellstown Educate Together National School and the adjoining St Luke's National School in Dublin.

He said some of the issues discovered at Ardgillan College in Balbriggan were found at the two schools.

Mr McHugh said he hoped that interim accommodation would be found for students after the mid-term break next week.

The minister was responding to TDs Alan Farrell, Bríd Smith, Thomas Byrne and Louise O'Reilly.

On Friday, engineers carrying out fire remediation work at Ardgillan Community College discovered that ties that fix the exterior walls to interior walls were inadequate.

Phase 1 of the building, which was constructed by WBS in 2009, was closed with immediate effect and a number of Transition Year students were told to stay at home this week.

Phase 3, which was built in 2015 by a different company, was not affected.