CORK North West Fianna Fáil TD Michael Moynihan is calling on Fine Gael TDs in Co Cork to clarify their stance on the Education Minister’s attack on small rural schools.
Deputy Moynihan 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 Deputy Moynihan. “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 Cork share her objections to this policy? Hundreds of parents and teachers have attended public meetings in North and West Cork against the severe cuts facing our local schools. Fine Gael representatives locally must see the anger and concerns of their constituents. They must also recognise how damaging it would be to any community in this region to lose its local school.
“There is no doubt that Minister Quinn’s policy will force school amalgamations and closures in this area in the long-run. I have had concerns for some time that the Minister is on a solo-run with this. If that is the case, Fine Gael representatives in Co Cork must stand up for the communities they represent and challenge Minister Quinn’s attack on rural schools.”