The Education Minister, Richard Bruton, has blamed “technical issues and a scarcity of willing vendors” for holding up the long-awaited Crana College, Gaelcholáiste Chineál Eoghain and Gaelscoil Bhun Cranncha co-location project in Buncrana.
He said he fully understood the level of frustration that exists in the town over the continuing failure to acquire a suitable site for the shared campus.
The project, which has been in the pipeline for over a decade, was raised by Inishowen Fianna Fáil T.D., Charlie McConalogue, who has asked Minister Bruton for a fresh update on when he expected a site to be purchased to accommodate the three school campus.
He replied: “As the Deputy is aware the project in respect of the education campus in Buncrana is included on my Department’s capital programme.
“Officials in Donegal County Council have been assisting this Department under the Memorandum of Understanding for the acquisition of school sites in relation to the procurement of a suitable location for the campus. Despite the best efforts of all parties, the site acquisition process in respect of this project has been underway for a considerable length of time. Technical issues and a scarcity of willing vendors have, unfortunately, made the acquisition process extremely challenging.”
He added: “I understand the frustrations of the schools’ communities at the delays in progressing the site acquisition but I can assure the Deputy that every effort is being made to advance matters. My officials are currently liaising with officials in Donegal County Council with a view to determining the most appropriate next steps in order to bring about a satisfactory conclusion as expeditiously as possible.”