Jerome Reilly: Take away the school, kill the local community
Education cutbacks are a death sentence for rural villages, Jerome Reilly finds in Trumera, Co Laois
For Liam O'Neill there can be no surrender. He believes the battle to save the country's primary schools and their teachers is part of a larger conflict -- a fight for the survival of rural Ireland.
The school principal at Scoil Naisiunta Thromaire, a small Irish-speaking national school in Trumera in rural Co Laois just a few miles outside Mountrath, is also the incoming GAA president.
He believes the education cutbacks contained in the Budget austerity plan, which will increase the number of pupils needed for the retention of teachers, is tantamount to a death sentence for many small parish communities.