Séamus McDonagh represents the Meath area for the Workers Party, where a number of schools risk closure. He said:
“The first thing to be highlighted here is the complete disaster that almost all PPPs have been for the state. This is just the latest in a long line of private developer led public projects which caused huge damage to public finances, safety and infrastructure.
“Dozens of schools – tens of thousands of students – are now in jeopardy, and the only way for the state to react is to take a costly suit against a builder who has already made his money.”
“We also have to ask how these buildings were ever signed off as being safe – and the problem fundamentally is self certification. Who ever believed that allowing a private company to privately sign off on their own building’s safety was a good idea?
“I am calling for the Clerk of Works to be upgraded and expanded in every local authority and for it to have full responsibility in certifying building safety. The only reason not to do this is the ideological privatisation agenda of Fine Gael / Fianna Fáil.”
“The private sector has failed us at every turn. We are now a country with no proper broadband service, with abandoned public housing promises and with unsafe schools. This is all because of a refusal to spend public money on public services.
“The only winners are the private companies making plenty money, and making a mockery of us.”