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INSISTENT: Andrew Phelan spoke out about the ‘dismantling’ of the traditional education system. Photo: Patrick Browne

INSISTENT: Andrew Phelan spoke out about the ‘dismantling’ of the traditional education system. Photo: Patrick Browne

INSISTENT: Andrew Phelan spoke out about the ‘dismantling’ of the traditional education system. Photo: Patrick Browne

You hear your name called in a familiar, booming voice and for a fleeting moment you stop dead in your tracks. You've been caught mitching, again. You scamper down the stairs trying to blend in with the wall, hastily composing a dodgy excuse ("Sir! I'm an adult with a job now, Sir!"), but it doesn't matter, because you've been seen. This is going on your permanent record.

But then you glance down at the programme in your hand – Asti Conference 2014 – and are reassured that despite the fact that you're still in a suffocating shirt and jacket, this isn't that recurrent Leaving Cert dream after all. A group of men that had the power to banish you to detention are giving a cheery greeting now.


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