The Irish National Teachers' Organisation (INTO) is worried about the impact of the extended school shutdown on the country's most vulnerable children.
There is concern about pupils missing not only necessary tuition, but also food and care they receive within an education setting.
Homeless children, pupils from families suffering severe economic disadvantage or living in direct provision, and children with complex needs are the focus of an appeal from the INTO to Education Minister Joe McHugh.
Many of the services provided for vulnerable pupils, such as school meals, come from departments or agencies other than the Department of Education and the INTO is seeking a cross-departmental approach.
The personnel of the Defence Forces are justly proud of their record of steadfast loyalty and service to the State and its citizens, even though that same dedicated professionalism and patriotism has largely gone unrequited.