Outcry as Lowry uses pupils in bid for votes
Published 22/02/2011 | 05:00
THE majority have no vote, but that hasn't stopped one of the country's wiliest politicians from canvassing hundreds of secondary school students for votes ahead of the election.
Students attending Borrisokane Community College in Tipperary, and their parents, were asked to support independent TD Michael Lowry via a letter which was circulated throughout the school.
The Irish Independent has learnt that school principal Matthew Carr instructed two transition year students to distribute the Oireachtas-headed envelopes to all students during assembly last Friday.
In the letter addressed to parents and students, Mr Lowry claims credit for using his influence as an Independent TD to secure new facilities for the north Tipperary school.
He concluded the letter by writing: "In order that I can continue to offer effective support to Borrisokane Community School and to the wider locality, I am asking for your number 1 vote on Febraury 25."
Numerous parents contacted the Irish Independent yesterday. They asked not to be identified. "It is a disgrace that children have been used in this way. There is no place for this in any school," one mother said.
In response, Michael Lowry said: "The school facilitated me because they acknowledge the work, commitment, time and energy I have put in there to secure new facilities. I make no apology to anyone for this."
Virginia O'Dowd -- vice-chair of Tipperary North VEC and a member of Borrrisokane Community College board of management -- criticised what Mr Lowry did.
"This is the type of cute hoor politics that we need to get rid off. VECs cannot allow themselves to be at the beck and call of politicians looking for votes," she said.