Latest: Support to be given to 200 students affected by Dublin school damaged by fire

Latest: The Government has said “every resource and support available” will be offered to a primary school in north Dublin which has been damaged by a fire.

Dublin Fire Brigade was called to Scoil Chaitríona Cailíní off the Malahide Road in Coolock at about 6am this morning.

The Department of Education said a number of options for accommodating students are currently being examined, including prefabs on the site and students attending classes in other local schools.

Some 200 female students attend the school which caters for students from second to sixth class.

Firefighter John Robinson told RTÉ radio the fire was “pretty extensive”, but they managed to get it under control in about an hour and a half.

One person was taken to hospital as a precaution as a result of smoke inhalation and there were no reports of any injuries.

Communications Minister Richard Bruton said that “every resource and support available” will be given to the school.

“I am shocked and saddened for the whole school community following the devastating fire,” he said.

Education Minister Joe McHugh, who visited the site earlier this morning, said his department will be working with the school to see how and where pupils can be accommodated while the damage done to the building is repaired.

He said: “This is obviously a traumatic incident for all those connected to the school. We will stay with the school community during this and we will help them get through this. We will provide every assistance, first with information on options for the school and then with a plan to get children back into school.”

A spokesman for the Department of Education said that a senior official has been “appointed as a liaison to the principal and school management team”.

A senior architect from the department was also out at the school to assess the situation and met with the principals of both the senior and junior schools.

It is hoped the schools will be back in operation as early as possible next week.

The school authorities are meeting tomorrow and will update parents on the accommodation arrangements.

A Garda spokesman said an investigation into the cause of the fire is under way.

Earlier: Investigation into cause of fire at school in Dublin

Part of the roof of a school in Coolock in Dublin has collapsed after a fire ripped through the building this morning.

The blaze broke out at Scoil Chaitríona just after 6am.

An investigation has been launched into the cause of the fire.

Dublin Fire Brigade said smoke had reduced in the area.

They added: "If you can smell smoke, close all windows as a precaution"

Education Minister Joe McHugh has been to see the damage and said officials from his department are working on alternatives for the 200 pupils affected.

"It's quite traumatic for the school team themselves because I know they've been involved in fundraising," Mr McHugh said.

"The community has contributed to a new library and all that.

"My message to the community here is: We are going to do whatever it takes.

"We have a history of dealing with crises in the last 12 months in terms of other schools. We have a team in place to do this."

Earlier: 'There seems to be a good bit of damage': Dublin Fire Brigade tackling blaze at school in Artane

Picture: Dublin Fire Brigade
Picture: Dublin Fire Brigade

- By Digital Desk and Vivienne Clarke

Dublin Fire Brigade is dealing with a blaze at a school in Artane.

The alarm was raised on Mask Avenue following a 999 call at 6.10am.

A number of units of the fire brigade are at the scene, while traffic restrictions are in place in the area.

In a tweet, the fire brigade said: "We currently have a number of units at a building fire off the Malahide Road near Mask Avenue, a tanker has been requested to supplement the water supply.

"Traffic restrictions in immediate vicinity."

In a follow up statement, the fire brigade said good progress was being made in tackling the blaze.

"We've made good progress at the fire, we now have 5 pumps, a turntable ladder, emergency tender and foam unit on scene. 1st 999 call at 0610."

Local Fianna Fáil councillor Rachel Batten said there is still “substantial smoke” in the area with limited visibility.

Dublin fire brigade has closed off the area and traffic restrictions are in place, she told RTÉ radio’s Morning Ireland.

It is difficult to assess the extent of the damage to the 200 pupil Scoil Chaitríona Cailíní, she said and school authorities have attempted to contact all families to let them know that the school will not be open today.

“There seems to be a good bit of damage at the back of the school, but it’s impossible to say with the amount of smoke.”

The school and local representatives will work with other schools in the area if necessary to find alternative accommodation for pupils, she added.

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