FG Protestant councillors fear for future of their schools
Claim ‘intransigence’ of Minister for Education Ruairí Quinn’s policy will lead to closures
Minister for Education Ruarí Quinn: criticised by Fine Gael councillors.
A group of Protestant Fine Gael councillors have written to Taoiseach Enda Kenny saying the future of their schools is being threatened by the “intransigence” of Minister for Education Ruairí Quinn. They have asked Mr Kenny to intervene to protect the future of Protestant education in the country.
“We feel that Protestants are effectively being persecuted by the Labour element in Government when it comes to education and we need the Taoiseach’s help,” said Cllr Neale Richmond of Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council.
He said Mr Quinn had been vociferous in opposition in expressing his support for measures that would enable Protestant schools to survive but in Government he was doing the exact opposite.
“We feel we are hitting our heads off a brick wall in our dealings with the Minister and that is why we have written to the Taoiseach,” said Mr Richmond.
In the letter, 11 serving and two retired Fine Gael councillors from across the country said they were responding to considerable correspondence from teachers, parents and others concerned with preserving a Protestant ethos in schools.
“The feedback has been of extreme concern to us as loyal members and representatives of Fine Gael, a party many people trusted would protect the education rights of those from religious minorities,” the letter reads. “It is clear to us that the recent increases in the pupil teacher ratio for fee-charging schools is putting Protestant schools beyond the means of ordinary Protestants.”