Senator Ó Domhnaill was speaking after Galway Fine Gael Senator Fidelma Healy Eames described the policy as ‘social engineering of the worst kind’ and said Education Minister Ruairí Quinn is ‘ripping at the structures of rural life’.
“It is a relief to hear that there are serious concerns within the Government about Minister Quinn’s attack on small rural and minority faith schools,” said Senator Ó Domhnaill. “Senator Healy Eames has described the policy as a ‘bolt out of the blue in Budget 2012’ and has condemned the fact that schools were given no notice whatsoever and were not consulted.
“The question now is, do Senator Healy Eames’ colleagues in Co Donegal share her objections to this policy? Donegal is in a particularly bad position, with at least 16 posts to go at primary level in September and 101 primary schools in the county facing staff cuts over the next three years.
“Minister McGinley and Deputy McHugh have seen thousands of parents and teachers taking to the streets of Letterkenny and Gweedore to protest against the cuts facing rural schools, Church of Ireland schools and Gaeltacht schools in Donegal. They must listen to the serious concerns of their constituents and recognise the extensive damage to a community of losing its local school.”
The Gortahork senator added: “There is no doubt that Minister Quinn’s policy will force school amalgamations and closures in Co Donegal in the long-run. I have had concerns for some time that the Minister is on a solo-run with this. I am appealing to the Minister McGinley and Deputy McHugh to stand up for the communities they represent and challenge Minister Quinn’s attack on rural schools.”Tags: