Owners must take immediate action to secure the site of the former St Ernan’s School in Rathnew

Wicklow Sinn Féin TD John Brady has called on the new owners of the former St. Ernan’s school site in Rathnew to take immediate measures to secure the dangerous buildings. The old school buildings have been derelict since late 2016, when St. Ernan’s Boys School and St. Josephs GNS amalgamated as St Coen’s and moved into their new school in Merrymeeting in Rathnew.

After meeting with concerned locals at the former school Deputy Brady said, “Having been contacted by a number of concerned local people about the dangerous condition of the former St. Ernan’s school, I’m calling on the owners of the site to take immediate action to secure the dangerous buildings.”

“The site had been for sale and I believe that it recently changed hands, it was previously owned by St. Laurence O’Toole Diocesan Trust.  The new owners must take immediate action to secure the dangerous buildings on the site. Residents are very concerned that someone will get injured on the site, children have been seen in the dangerous buildings which are covered with broken glass.”

Deputy Brady continued “The site has been on the Wicklow County Council vacant register since February of this year. If the owners don’t take immediate action I think that Wicklow County Council should look at immediately designating it as a dangerous structure and site. Under the Local Government (Sanitary Services) Act 1964, local authorities can require an owner to make such a site safe. In emergency cases, the local authority has the power to enter the site itself and make it safe. The Act also allows local authorities to prosecute owners who do not comply with notices served and carry out necessary work to make the site safe and charge the owners for the cost.”

Deputy Brady concluded “Not only is the site an eyesore, it’s a serious danger. I know that the new owner will be anxious to develop the site, however that could take a considerable time to develop plans and get them passed. In the meantime, immediate action must be taken to secure the site and the owner must act.”

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