Tributes from all sides of education network after minister calls it quits
ALL sides of the education system paid tribute to Ruairi Quinn after he announced his resignation.
Despite their differences with the minister, even the two second-level teacher unions found some kind words.
Teachers' Union of Ireland (TUI) general secretary John MacGabhann acknowledged the minister's commitment, notwithstanding the constraints of austerity, to ensuring that all pupils have access to a public education system of the highest quality.
Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland (ASTI) president Sally Maguire said there was "no doubt that the minister has a keen interest in education reform" but it was "regrettable that he failed to consult with the classroom practitioners on his proposals to replace the national state-certified Junior Certificate examination".
Ferdia Kelly of the Joint Managerial Body (JMB), representing management in voluntary secondary schools, appreciated Mr Quinn's "openness to engage with the education partners on a regular basis".
Michael Moriarty, general secretary of Education and Training Boards Ireland (ETBI), said the minister had proven to be one of the most dynamic and innovative education ministers of recent decades.
Clive Byrne of the National Association of Principals and Deputy Principals said he had been motivated by the objective of improving and reforming the education system, notwithstanding the backdrop of severe economic difficulty.
The Irish Second-Level Students' Union (ISSU) said they were grateful that he pioneered student-focused reforms, "which would likely not have been introduced by others due to their controversial nature, but which were hugely important in improving the quality of Irish education".
Sean Cottrell of the Irish Primary Principals' Network said he was a minister with vision.