Donegal Fianna Fáil Senator Brian Ó Domhnaill says he has demanded an explanation from the Education Minister Ruairí Quinn as to why disadvantaged schools in Donegal were left out of the partial reversal of DEIS cuts this year.
The Principals of DEIS schools across rural Ireland, including 5 schools in Co Donegal, have come together to explain to Minister Quinn just how damaging these cuts will be to their pupils and to their communities.
Writing in today’s Irish Examiner, they explained that the loss of these teachers ‘will add to the level of disadvantage that children in deprived rural communities already face’. They have described the cuts as ‘a retrograde step which may result in falling standards and a breakdown in the social cohesion within our communities.’
Senator Ó Domhanill said today: “The Education Minister Ruairí Quinn and his Labour Party colleagues have attempted to spin a yarn that they have reversed their mistake on cuts to DEIS schools this year.
“Yet 16 disadvantaged schools across rural Ireland will still lose a teaching post this September as a result of Minister Quinn’s cuts. These include 6 schools in Co Donegal: Scoil Adhmhaidin Raphoe, Scoil Náisúnta An Chaiseal Glencolmcille, Scoil Náisúnta Boaithín St Johnson; Scoil Chartha Naofa Kilcar, Scoil Cholmcille Carrigart, and Scoil Mhuire Glenties.
“Minister Quinn himself admitted that he made a mistake by singling out the most disadvantaged schools for severe cuts this year. However, he has still only partially reversed this mistake. While urban DEIS schools have retained some of their legacy posts, rural DEIS schools have been left out of the review of the cuts altogether.
“It is incredibly unfair that children in deprived communities in Co Donegal and across rural Ireland are still being targeted by Minister Quinn in this way. It is also incredibly short-sighted, at a time when we are trying to rebuild communities in Co Donegal that have particularly high levels of unemployment. Fianna Fáil is again appealing to Minister Quinn to do the right thing and reverse his cuts to all rural disadvantaged schools, as well as urban disadvantaged schools.”