Funding for Special Needs Class at St. Senan’s National in Shannon must be made available – BREEN.

April 2nd, 2009 - Pat Breen
Fine Gael’s Deputy Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Clare T.D. Pat Breen is urging the Minister for Education and Science Batt O’Keeffe T.D. to provide the necessary funding to St. Senan’s National School in Shannon so that the Special Needs Class can be up and running from the 1st September next.

Following a visit to St. Senan’s N.S. in Shannon last week, Deputy Breen said that “It is not a big job and major investment is not required here. No new infrastructure is necessary and there is no need for a prefabricated building. All that is required is redecoration and the provision of the special needs equipment for the children.”

“Parents of autistic children face a daily struggle, one which all parents of children with special needs must undertake to secure proper educational facilities for their children every day. There are around 285 autism special needs classes around the country including one at St. Senans’ School in Kilrush which was set up in 2005. Given the proven educational and development benefits that children achieve by participating in Special Needs Classes it is extraordinary that the Education Minister is moving full steam ahead to axe 128 such classes throughout the Country including one such class in Kilrush.”

“In this case, there is relatively very little funding required and I would urge Minister O’Keeffe to provide the necessary monies as soon as possible so that this Class can be up and running by the 1st September next.”


See Parliamentary Question Underneath for your Information.



Chun an Aire Oideachais agus Eolaíoctha

To the Minister for Education and Science


To ask the Minister for Education and Science the situation regarding the

provision of a class in respect of a school (details supplied) in County Clare;

and if he will make a statement on the matter.

– Pat Breen.

St. Senan’s National School in Shannon, Co. Clare. Roll No 18739I. This School

received approval over two months ago from the Department for a Special Class

for children with autism. Three children are already enrolled for this Class

from September 1st next. Accommodation is available at the School but

refurbishment works are required to bring the classroom up to the required

Standard. Has a tender been issued for this refurbishment work; if not when do

you expect this to happen? The School is very anxious to make sure that the

Classroom is up and running for September 1st next.



* For WRITTEN answer on Tuesday, 24th March, 2009.

Reference Number: 11252/09




Minister Batt O’Keeffe


An official from the Building Unit of my Department was in contact with the

school authorities recently regarding this matter. The school will submit an

application for emergency funding for the refurbishment works in question in

the near future. When this application is received it will be assessed without

delay and the school authorities will be notified of the outcome as soon as