Minister for Education is Playing a ‘Cynical Game’

Minister for Education-Jan O Sullivan has played a cynical game with parents of school going children in South Kildare to protect Labour votes in Kildare South, says Fine Gael candidate for South Kildare, Fiona McLoughlin Healy. “I am hugely disappointed that the Minister has failed to meet another deadline to update the South Kildare Educate together 2nd level campaign group before the election. The update was promised at the last meeting with the Group on January 28th. Time is running out.”

There have been two meetings with the Minister at which the Minister accepted the demand for more 2nd level places in the Newbridge, Kildare, Kilcullen, Rathangan area, and the inaccuracies in the data used by the Department followed by promises of further meetings which eventually happened much later than initially promised. The SKET2nd Level campaign understood the first meeting with the Minister last November was to influence the Schools Building Programme. The group was hugely disappointed when the programme was announced on the eve of their November meeting. South Kildare was instead placed on a list for review – a situation welcomed by sitting TDs Jack Wall, Martin Heydon and Labour candidate for the General Election, Cllr Mark Wall. McLoughlin Healy was not impressed however stating at the time that this was, “the political equivalent of being in a file, in a filing cabinet.”

Fine Gael’s, McLoughlin Healy says she is angry on behalf of parents and children across the district at the way the group have been stalled by the Minister. It is now three days before the election and the Minister is overdue by weeks a progress update following from accepted inaccuracies identified in data used by the Department in the allocation of new schools. I am aware of two cases where students are to be home-schooled by tutors provided by the department due to the shortage of 2nd level places. I am annoyed on behalf of my constituents that the Ministers engagement with the SKET 2nd Level campaign group since November seems to have had more to do with protecting Labour votes locally than delivering much needed school places for South Kildare.”

Educate Together