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(Ireland) Clonakilty: $2.1M for autism dept; 'we are delighted'

Oct 13, 2023, Southern Star: Clonakilty special needs school to open next year

THE foundations for a special needs department at Scoil na mBuachaillí in Clonakilty have been laid.

The Dunmanway-based building firm Cahalane Brothers are on site and it is expected the new classrooms will be ready to welcome 12 children with autism by September 2024.

The extension, which is estimated to cost in excess of €2m [$2.1M], will have two new classrooms, with six students in each class, a general purpose room, toilet and shower facilities, as well as an office and a specially-built sensory room.

School principal, Barth Harrington, said all of the students and teachers at the school are looking forward to the day when the new extension will be finished.

‘We are delighted to see the work going ahead because what we are using, at the moment, is two converted classrooms in the main building,’ he said. ‘The classrooms are very comfortable but the new department, especially the additional facilities such as the sensory room, will be fabulous for them.’

Regulations allow for a maximum of six students with autism per classroom, so new places will only become available as the current students leave for secondary school.

The principal thanked Cahalane Brothers for their professionalism saying they have been absolutely excellent to work with.

‘They are very accommodating and their whole ethos seems to be to make things as easy for us as possible.’…

The start of the extension works were marked by Niall O’Connor of Bertie Pope & Associates, Barth Harrington, principal, Noreen Minihan, the chairperson of the board of management, and Conor Cahalane of Cahalane Bros.

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