Walkinstown School – victim of bureaucrats; Minister must step in.
The following is the text of the letter I sent to Minister Bruton on foot of the issue of Walkinstown School being debated in the Dáil today. The school is loosing a teacher for reasons that can only be discribed as ridiculously bureaucratic The Minister and his deputy have a case to answer. Their response today was appaling and I have written to them demanding action. Here is the text of my letter:
I wish to complain in the strongest possible terms at the official responses made to myself and Deputies Joan Collins and Aengus O Snodaigh, at the Topical Issues debate on Wednesday 26th October.
The Ceann Comhairle kindly considered the issue of the loss of a teacher in the Assumption School Walkinstown as important enough to schedule a long debate on this issue yesterday.
In advance we were informed by your Secretary that you would not be available and we accepted the offer of a replacement minister in order to get the issue dealt with as the teacher will be out of the school by tomorrow.
In the course of the debate Deputy Dara Murphy (your replacement) dutifully read from a prepared script. It was very clear however, that the deputy was not fully briefed or capable of, addressing the actual issues and our concerns on same.
Minister, it was almost embarrassing how badly this was dealt with. Parents in the gallery are shocked by the lack of response and empathy to direct questioning. More parents, teachers and children will be disgusted by our Parliament when they watch the recording of the debate.
Therefore I am respectfully requesting that we try to resolve this by taking one or more of a number of initiatives
– that you meet with the Deputies concerned, accompanied by a delegation of parents and teachers asap
– that your department postpones the removal of the teacher until such time as we get a chance to clearly and properly put our case for retaining the teacher
– that an inspector from the Department formally visits the school and takes seriously the issues of the health and safety of the children as raised in the Dail.
I look forward to an early response
Deputy Brid Smith