Thursday 22 March 2018

Quinn learning church not ready to let go of schools

Suddenly all that gentlemanly talk about plurality is out the window, writes Emer O'Kelly

Remember the formation of the Cabinet? How there was a delay before the Taoiseach came into the Dail to announce it, and the rumours about last-minute behind-the-scenes rows?

I'm not talking about Joan Burton's supposed tantrum at not getting a finance portfolio (although the tantrum seems largely to have been thrown by other people who thought she should feel snubbed). I mean the other backroom rumour, that Ruairi Quinn, former Labour Party leader, former Minister for Finance, and what is commonly known as a "veteran politician" had, in lobby parlance "thrown the cat among the pigeons" by claiming that there was "fight in the old dog yet". In other words, lads, I'm still here, and I want a ministry.

And he got it. He got the Department of Education. And there's definitely fight in the old dog yet. There's plain talking and energy for fundamental change in our inadequate educational system, starting with the scandalous level of illiteracy in this country.

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