Attempt to dissolve Clonkeen Board an attack on entire community – Fine Gael Minister & TDs need to step up

27 January 2018

Labour representative for Dun Laoghaire, Cllr Deirdre Kingston has said that the attempt to dissolve the Board of Management at Clonkeen College is an attack on the entire community.

Speaking on the matter, Cllr. Kingston said:

“This latest news that the Edmund Rice Schools Trust (ERST) is seeking the dissolution of the school board because of their legal action against the Christian Brothers is shameful. The Board have spent the last number of months fighting hard for the students of Clonkeen College – both current pupils and those of the future. Playing pitches are essential to the well-being of young people and the attempt to sell them off for development and ultimately for a redress bill was hard enough to stomach, but this news that the board is being threatened is another cynical attack on the community.

“This matter is now in the hands of the Minister for Education Richard Bruton and I would urge him to take immediate action and stop this from happening. The lack of interest from him thus far is really disappointing, particularly as there are three Fine Gael TDs elected in Dun Laoghaire. One would hope they would have some influence on their party colleague, particularly as Mary Mitchell O’Connor now sits in the Department of Education.

“ERST are obviously feeling threatened by the well organised and passionate campaign of the school and local community to save these pitches. This highlights the actual motivation of the ERST in facilitating the selling of the land and they have gone way beyond giving any impression that the interests of the students are paramount. The standard of the students’ education needs to be central to any argument about Clonkeen but it seems that the patron have selfishly let other interests dictate their decisions. They are certainly not putting these young people front and centre.

“I will be raising this with Labour’s Education spokesperson Senator Aodhán Ó Ríordáin, who has committed to raising it in the Seanad at the earliest opportunity next week and seeking the Minister to appear to answer questions”

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