Tag Archives: schools

From left: George Kennedy, John Boland, David Phayer, Thomas Hogan and a man who did not wish to be identified by name

This afternoon.

Department of Education, Dublin 2.

A group of men who were sexually abused as children by a teacher at Creagh Lane primary school in Limerick protest outside the Dáil, over the State’s ongoing failure to grant them the redress they are due.

Via RTÉ:

Today is the fifth time in recent years that the ‘Creagh Lane men’, as they are known, have travelled from Limerick to Dublin to try to draw attention to their situation through protest.

A State redress scheme was established for survivors of abuse in national schools, after the European Court of Human Rights ruled in the Louise O’Keeffe case that the State did share liability for their abuse.

But the Creagh Lane men are among what is believed to be hundreds excluded by the scheme’s narrow interpretation of the European court ruling.

A year ago, the Government accepted a former judge’s finding that that the conditions of that scheme were “inherently illogical”, “fundamentally unfair” to applicants, and should be changed.

…Responding to the judge’s conclusions in the Dáil last year, the then minister for education Joe McHugh promised “action not words”. He established a second review.

But there has been no offer made to the Creagh Lane men and others.

Sex abuse survivors protest over redress scheme (RTÉ)

Rollingnews

This morning/afernoon.

Montrose Park, Beaumont, Dublin 5

Taoiseach Micheál Martin (above second right) and Minister for Education Norma Foley (above far right) visited Scoil Fiachra National School where they were given a tour of the school and a briefing on the work undertaken to mess with young heads prepare the school for reopening.

Where are your scary perspex PODS?

Amateurs.

Previously: Breathing Breaks

Julien Behal/Photocall Ireland

Earlier…

This afternoon.

Tanaiste Leo Varadkar urges a school re-opening policy that won’t make us look bad to other countries.

Fine Gael.

Never change.

File photo of worker at Western Building Systems’ site

Emma O’Kelly reports on RTÉ:

Overall €40 million has been spent by the State so far on remediation works in dozens of schools [built by Co Tyrone-based company Western Building Systems] where fire safety breaches and structural defects were discovered, RTÉ News has learned.

The figure is expected to be contained in an update that the Minister for Education Joe McHugh is expected to give to the Cabinet at its weekly meeting later this morning.

…However, the €40m bill will rise over this year and next. Work on structural repairs to eight more schools is due to begin in the New Year. Plans are being drawn up for repairs to a further 17 schools, where work is expected to begin next summer.

Meanwhile…

Eamon Melia tweetz:

The Govt have spent €40 million on repairs to new schools built by Western Building systems yet still awarding state contracts to that company. Something not right here.

Anyone?

€40m spent by State on school building remediation works (RTÉ)

Previously: Western Building Systems on Broadsheet

Engineers have identified structural flaws in 17 school buildings that will require temporary works to be carried out in coming weeks in order to ensure that they are safe for pupils and staff to return to in September.

The 17 schools are in addition to 22 others where defects discovered last year required precautionary measures, such as scaffolding and protective fencing, to be put in place.

Two of the 17 schools newly identified with structural defects were built just last year, while several others were completed as recently as 2017 and 2016.

17 additional schools found with structural defects (RTÉ)

Rollingnews

A sign (above) erected last night at the building site for the new Holy Family National School

This morning.

Ardmore Road, Mullingar, County Westmeath.

Holy Family NS Action Group writes:

After it was announced last month that the completion of the new Holy Family (Curraghmore) National School  has been pushed back AGAIN to October 2019 (the 9th revision date in the last 5 years) we are taking action to ensure the newest date is met this time.

We have had excuse after excuse and we don’t know what the issue is that is causing such delays so we now just want to highlight the issue and put the pressure on to get the school delivered.

The site is not being resourced adequately and it looks unlikely that the new October 2019 date will be met now either.

The building was originally supposed to be ready around September 2015/2016. It is a 12 month contract.

Since then, 287 students are in inadequate prefab buildings on an overcrowded site. 46 of the new junior infants this year will begin their school experience off site.

This includes 24 ASD /Special Needs students who are among the most vulnerable in society.

Holy Family NS Action Group

Further to ongoing scaremongering in Catholic schools in north Dublin.

Emer O’Toole, in The Guardian, writes:

Incomprehensibly, the state all but handed over administration of the divestment process to the church.

The result? Catholic schools denied parents any objective information on alternative patrons, then warned them that if they voted for divestment there would be no opportunity to reconsider once they learned details of the proposed replacement.

Who in their right mind would vote for change under those circumstances?

Not only would divestment protect the rights of Ireland’s non-Catholic children, who are currently excluded during religious instruction, and of non-Catholic teachers, who can be discriminated against in the hiring process,

it would also help to complete the separation of church and state. While over 90% of children undergo near mandatory Catholic faith formation in state schools, the church simply has too much power in the Irish Republic.

Why do state schools continue to teach Irish children to respect the moral authority of the Catholic church, when most Irish adults, aware of the lessons of the Ryan report, the Ferns report, the Cloyne report and too many others, know that such respect is dangerous and misplaced?

Why do we continue to show children that it is normal for the church to play a privileged part in public life, when generations have lived the tragic effects of such indoctrination?

If we continue to keep children ignorant of any religious belief but Catholicism, and teach them that children of other faiths are deviations from the norm, will we act surprised when these seeds grow into intolerance and division in our newly diverse Ireland?

And will we continue to ignore the misogyny and homophobia of the Catholic church, and to pretend that this has no effect on the children in its schools?

Ireland’s attempts to secularise its schools have turned to farce (Emer O’Toole, The Guardian)

Previously: Hello Diversity, Goodbye Grandparents

Pic: RTÉ

Thanks Bebe

Principal Mary Mother of Hope Senior School in Littlepace, Dublin 15, Enda McGorman

This morning.

On RTE’s Today with Sean O’Rourke.

Journalist Evelyn O’Rourke reported on homeless children who go to school hungry because the breakfast area at their place of accommodation isn’t open in time for them to eat before leaving for school.

[The most recent Department of Housing figures show that, as of the final week in September, 3,829 children were living in staying in State-funded emergency accommodation across the country]

Ms O’Rourke visited the Mary Mother of Hope Senior School in Littlepace, Dublin 15, and met the school’s principal Enda McGorman who is also a member of the Irish Primary Principals’ Network.

Mr McGorman told Ms O’Rourke:

“It’s a growing concern for me and school principals…One area that we’re really, really worried about is the effect that homelessness and the homeless crisis is having on children in school. The immediate effects that it’s having on school children, it’s really alarming and it’s at a basic level.

“One family that we’re trying to support – their B&B was in town. So to get transport out here, the children had to be on a bus so early that the breakfast bar wasn’t open for them. So they would come to school hungry.

“…And I think one of the other issues for us, it’s so silent, maybe not always here until kids maybe are already homeless and already in a place that they can’t back to school to and then we see absenteeism or we see lateness and we start to query it, where parents are either through fear or shame, forget or don’t wish to share it with us.

“I’m just thinking in the last month, I’ve written three letters for families to say ‘I know this family, they’re a good solid family, please afford them the opportunity to rent your house’.

“Because they’ll go to view a house and there could be 100 families waiting ahead of them. So you never thought you’d be doing that as a school principal, to try and support people who you’ve known and whose children you’ve known…these are some of the realities that we’re dealing with that we never thought we’d be dealing with.

“Another concern we have is homework. And ‘how can I do my homework if I’m lying on the floor?’. One of the families that we’re supporting were living in one of these, it wouldn’t be quite a hotel standard, but it was surrounded by roundabouts, on the periphery of a motorway and even accessing it, getting in and getting out of there, there’s no public transport.

“So the family were literally trapped there. There’s no way those children were going to get to our school. And no prospect of them leaving it either.”

Mr McGorman also said he has often been approached by parents who go to him for help after they’ve received eviction letters.

Listen back in full here

Pic: Vimeo