Tuesday 20 March 2018

Dail gates besieged by property, school and pay groups

Anne-Marie Walsh

PRIORY Hall residents facing financial ruin have rounded on their local Fine Gael TD, saying Terence Flanagan had been seen but not heard during the crisis.

"He is an 'I will get back to you' man," said spokesman Graham Usher.

Others protesting outside the Dail yesterday said his alleged lack of action would bring a heavy political price.

Residents are concerned that a pending Supreme Court hearing may rule that Dublin City Council does not have to pay for alternative accommodation, leaving them with both rental costs and mortgage repayments.

However, Mr Flanagan dismissed the criticism last night, saying he had done everything possible to support the residents and that he would continue to do so.

Meanwhile, large numbers of parents and students from Scoil Santain in Tallaght, Dublin, gathered outside the Dail to protest against funding cuts to the Delivering Equality of Opportunity in Schools programme for disadvantaged schools.

The move will lead to a cut in the number of teachers and a resulting increase in class sizes, parents said.

Joyce O'Brien, who was outside the Dail with her children Mia (7) and Aoife (3), said: "The kids will suffer, especially the ones that need extra help."

Education Minister Ruairi Quinn has asked his officials to examine the situation in all schools set to be hit by a Budget decision to cut what are known as "legacy" posts -- teachers on their staff over and above the normal allocation. About 230 schools could be affected next September.

And out-of-work lingerie staff last night still had no guarantee that they will get overtime and a week's wages worth up to €1,000 each.

A total of 93 La Senza workers face an anxious wait after administrators KPMG agreed to raise the overdue pay issue with its UK-based head office yesterday.

Speaking after the meeting with KPMG, Mandate divisional organiser, Michael Meegan, said the administrators promised to bring their issues to the attention of KPMG head office.

Late last night Mr Meegan said the issue remained unresolved as KPMG were still in talks with senior management in the company.

He said: "The positive thing I'm taking out of it is that they haven't come back to us with a quick answer. They must really be looking at the concerns of the girls, I hope with the view of trying to sort out this situation."

Irish Independent

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