Saturday, July 7, 2012

Cllr Mythen has the plight of small schools raised in Dail through the office of Sean Crowe TD

Local Councillor Johnny Mythen had the closure of Killegney NS, a Church of Ireland school near Enniscorthy, raised in the Dail by Sinn Féin Education spokesperson Sean Crowe TD this week. Cllr Mythen described the Department of Education’s decision to close the 107 year old school, which only two years ago was given a €250,000 make-over, as an affront on a small rural community.

“Cuts made in last Decembers budget are having a discriminatory effect on religious minorities in our society,” Cllr Mythen said, “A prime example of this is Killegney National School near Enniscorthy. Two years ago a quarter of a million euro was spent making Killegney a state of the art school. For what? To turn it into a ghost school?”

“Does the minister realise protestant children have attended this school for over hundred and seven years? We know that five out of eight Church of Ireland schools in the Diocese of Ferns are threatened with closure unless Minister Quinn revises his current one size fits all strategy. Obviously the criteria he is applying cannot be implemented without unjustly crippling the services provided to children of minority faiths.”

“The present criteria targets small rural schools, the very green shoots of rural Ireland, the hub of any community. Without these schools small villages will not survive. Only twelve of the twenty six counties provide a Protestant Secondary School of any description. There are only six non-fee paying Protestant second-level schools, three of which are in Dublin and Wicklow.”

“The evaluation of the viability of schools cannot be based on cost alone. The minister is carrying out these cuts; without any social, psychological, or scientific data; and is basing his decisions on a purely financial platform. If this minister gets his way the ring of the country school bell will be as rare as the sound of the corncrake.”

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