Teacher-bashing ignores big contribution on muddy fields
The irony is unmistakable, with Croke Park and Lansdowne Road featuring on every news bulletin covering the secondary teachers' dispute.
It is, of course, in the context of agreements with Government but the fact that such famous venues are being mentioned so often makes it timely to remind those who are savaging teachers over their action that sport would be all but wiped out in schools without a lot of after-hours unpaid involvement.
Yet, however much time teachers devote to it or other extra-curricular activities, it doesn't count as part of the additional hours required under the Croke Park agreements.
Sport is a vital part of young people's school experience, so where would it be without the generous input by so many teachers at all levels?
They get little enough credit for it and none at all from Government, who seem to think it's their duty to head for the sportsfields after school and put in as much as 10-15 free hours per week. Without it, school sports would collapse, but who says thanks to the teachers? Certainly not Government, who won't recognise it in any way.