Saturday 29 October 2016

Time is right to tear down 'old boy network' run by schools

Published 08/04/2015 | 02:30

New rules will mean some schools will no longer be bastions of the elite
New rules will mean some schools will no longer be bastions of the elite

Our national schools and community schools are supposed to be for everybody. However, this is not the case. Some potential students seeking entry are given preferential treatment based on the fact that previous family members attended. Even our heralded community schools are reeking of elitism and nepotism.

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We hear of matriculation requirements for enrolment at what are supposed to be wide-open educational establishments. Then there are the publicly-funded denominated religious ethos schools selecting students based on which church they belong to.

We should not be surprised, however, that the Government is clamping down on schools funded by taxpayers, in confining legacy or lineage places to a small percentage. This percentage still represents bias and prejudice, which should never be encouraged in a educational setting.

There are clearly parallels between the school system and the job system, with jobs being handed down from son to daughter and several members of one family in a factory.

This is also true of TDs' seats in Dáil Éireann. We have seen numerous examples of TDs almost bequeathing their seats to family members. Let's end the old school tie/family system. It creates a country of social exclusion and brazen nepotism, which is crassly evident in modern Ireland. Segregation and apartheid in our taxpayer-funded schools are now engineered realities.

Maurice Fitzgerald

Ringaskiddy, Co Cork


No segregation in education

At one stage of our short history as a Republic, the whole of the Cabinet came from the same school. A tragic indictment of a poor educational system which allowed and accepted elitist schools.

Schools and colleges that exist by exclusivity undermine our democratic system, aiming as they do to segregate education. These practises have no place in education when the outcome is putting some children above others.

Harry Mulhern

Millbrook Road, Dublin


Help us clean up the Dodder

For years I have been putting out the idea of neighbourhood clean-ups rather than those useless-to-society marathons, walks, climbs, boat-trips, etc. When I see those thousands of people wasting energy on those marathons when they could have been cleaning up the streets from Dublin to Cork to Galway to Belfast, I wonder why anybody would give money to their causes for that? If, however, we saw our streets, parks and rivers being cleaned who would say that charity was not worth supporting?

The Dodder Anglers Association has had an annual Dodder clean-up for 50 years, with schools and neighbours all joining in. This task has now been taken up by the marvellous Dodder Action Group, which have scheduled their next clean-up for April 18, beginning at Milltown and other places along the length of the river at 10-11am.

When I heard about the people of Limerick cleaning up their city I felt vindicated in my thoughts. Well done all, you should be proud of yourselves and I know the feeling of satisfaction there is at the end of the day. And thanks also to the local councils, they are the ones who take all the bags of dirt away.

Redmond O'Hanlon

Hon Sec Dodder Anglers

Churchtown, Dublin 14


Let's live up to the Proclamation

Reflecting on the coming centenary of the 1916 Rising I got to thinking about the Proclamation. During the week we all heard various bits about a "new" Proclamation. What's wrong with the old one?

Is "cherishing" all the children of the nation equally to be replaced with stuff about being the "best small country in the world to do business in"? Before we even contemplate looking at a new Proclamation, let's try to live up to the old one. It can never be truly lived up to while some people live in houses, and others on the streets.

Patrick Corkery

James Street, Cork


In praise of our cantor

After witnessing the expertise and dedication of our local parish choir here at Star of the Sea in Sandymount over the Easter ceremonies, it occurs to me that we may often take our parish choirs for granted. But, as with so many other parish affairs, it doesn't just happen.

The repertoire and excellent soloists together with the organist and choir have to be led by someone of great competence.

Though James Joyce turned down the offer of cantor at our church on his last visit to Ireland in 1912, we are lucky we have the present incumbent.

Anthony J Jordan

Sandymount, Dublin


Rising can't fall flat

As an Englishman who loves living in Ireland I attended the 'Rising' commemorations on Saturday and thoroughly enjoyed the great republican ballad music being performed outside the GPO and the historical enactments in Moore Street. On Sunday, I attended RTE's 'Rising' display - and was thoroughly disappointed at its lack of any real artistic engagement.

Masses of people were wandering around looking unengaged with the offerings. Surely the centrifugal force of the 'Rising' commemorations has to involve the GPO. And yet we were told that it was not open to the general public - even though there were a handful of people in there.

The foyer of the Abbey Theatre was one of near total uninvolvement. Why no historical involvement in the foyer? Surely a day like this needs the dynamism that St Patrick's day is able to create.

I would recommend that you hand it over to the folks whom run the St Patrick's Day parade, or the folks I saw on Saturday, before 2016.

Victor Feldman

Joy Street, Dublin 4


Promises, promises, promises

We are always being made promises. Politicians are always promising a better quality of life for people as they get older and a better health service. Some banks promise higher interest rates, some food products promise to make you lose weight if you eat them. Some body creams guarantee old age with fewer wrinkles.

Most broken promises are made for gain. We forget the ones we would like to remember and remember the ones that we would like to forget.

Life is full of broken promises, it is quite simply a matter of cruising along in our own little lifeboats listening to a constantly changing but never ending stream of promises.

Broken promises are like shadows dancing around in the twilight. The older I get, the more clearly I see them for what they are.

John Byrne



Cold justice

Why not simply supply our legal eagles with thermal... briefs ? ('Cold case: Chief Justice warns of trial cancellations as judges shiver in court', April 4)

Tom Gilsenan

Beaumont, Dublin 9

Irish Independent

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