Wednesday 16 January 2019

Mum demands Catholic education for son

Louise Carey and her son Cillian, and Michelle Cumiskey with her daughter Indy outside St Declan’s National School in Ashbourne, Co Meath, which they have been told has no room for their children
Louise Carey and her son Cillian, and Michelle Cumiskey with her daughter Indy outside St Declan’s National School in Ashbourne, Co Meath, which they have been told has no room for their children

Michael Brennan Deputy Political Editor

LOUISE Carey is involved in a battle with Education Minister Ruairi Quinn over the lack of a Catholic school place for her young son.

His department has recently given the go-ahead for two new schools in Ashbourne in Co Meath, where the population increased massively during the boom. But both schools -- a Gaelscoil and an Educate Together school -- are multi-denominational and do not have a Catholic ethos.

Ms Carey said she and her partner wanted their son Cillian (4) to go to a Catholic school.

Ms Carey recently helped to organise a meeting of 120 parents in Ashbourne demanding that Mr Quinn's department provide funding for more Catholic school places.

The three Catholic schools in Ashbourne are full for September, as is the new multi-denominational Gaelscoil na Mí set up last year. The planned Educate Together school will have a capacity for 57 junior infants under current plans.

Fine Gael Meath East TD Regina Doherty said yesterday that Mr Quinn had refused to meet a delegation involving her, Labour TD Dominic Hannigan and Fianna Fail senator Thomas Byrne about the crisis.

"I think the minister and the department are incorrect in their view that there is adequate school provision in Ashbourne. I have a list of 27 parents who have no place and who are not on any working list for schools this September -- yet all of our schools are full," she said.

The department denied it was trying to bully parents into choosing a multi-denominational school.

"This is certainly not the case. The parents of Ashbourne now have greater choice than ever before in the range of primary schools available to them for their children," it said.

Irish Independent

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