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Monday 16 September 2019

Worried mum leads ministerial ambush

Katherine Donnelly

ANGELA Connolly is both angry and anxious.

Worried about what lies ahead for her son Jack (10) as educational support for children with special needs is cut, yesterday she led an ambush on Education Minister Ruairi Quinn.

Many parents travelled long distances, with their children, to give the minister a first-hand account of the difficulties and uncertainty they face.

They confronted the minister as he was about to enter the hall to speak at the Irish National Teachers' Organisation conference.

Jack Connolly has both severe physical needs and a learning difficulty, but has managed well in Kinlough National School, Co Leitrim, where he is in third class.

He is incontinent and has a full-time special needs assistant. He also receives five hours a week in resource teaching support.

Jack is facing hip surgery over the summer. Angela hopes that he can have home tuition for three months while he recuperates. Even if and when Jack returns to school, she is worried about what support he will have.

"I am fighting for an education for him," she said.

Tracey Holsgrove, Liam Lynch and their daughter Fionnuala (4) travelled from Oldcastle, Co Meath.

Fionnuala has a rare neurological condition affecting her balance and speech. Her parents hope she will start school in September 2012, but they are worried about cuts.

"It is not only for the child with special needs, but all children in the class . . . the extra resources have to be there or else it will impact on the education of other children."

Irish Independent

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