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Rural school fears for future as it loses concessionary post

We, the parents of Scoil Bhreandáin, Eachléim, Blacksod, Co. Mayo, write in relation to the withdrawal of a concessionary post from our school on Aug 31.

A Gaeltacht school, we are one of 16 rural disadvantaged primary schools which Enda Kenny has chosen to abandon.

When cuts to DEIS urban schools were reversed, under pressure from Labour TDs, 140 concessionary posts were saved. However, there was a blanket cut on the remaining 16 posts located in rural Ireland. How significant is this from a rural-based taoiseach? When these posts were allocated they were done so on the basis of disadvantage status. Today these 140 posts are being saved on that same basis, however our rural disadvantage is being ignored. This is a cruel injustice.

Some 80% of us are without third-level education, with 60% male unemployment, 58% female unemployment, 29% with primary education only, 50% without work skills — to name but some of the frightening statistics which Enda Kenny has chosen to ignore in his home county. Perhaps he felt our story would fade into oblivion.

The loss of this concessionary teacher at one of the most difficult times our economy has ever faced is going to add to the level of disadvantage that children in peripheral rural communities already face. In addition, our school lost a permanent post in 2011 through the abolition of the DEIS rural co-ordinator and will lose another permanent post in 2015. In total our school will lose 66% of its teaching staff in 48 months when GAM hours are factored in. As a Gaeltacht school at the tip of the Mullet peninsula we are surrounded by water on three sides. We are on the periphery of Mayo, Ireland and north-western europe.

!Unfortunately, our own government TDs Enda Kenny, Michael Ring, John O’Mahoney and Michelle Mulherin are now helping a fierce northerly wind in 2012. Iarann muid orthu an fód a sheasamh do mhúintír na tuaithe agus a mhunitir féin. Remember all children should be cherished equally, regardless of their address.

The Parents of Scoil Bhreandáin

Blacksod

Ballina

Co Mayo


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