Thursday 26 April 2018

John Walshe: Minister gets tangled up in knots over old school ties

Over 800 Students from Blackrock College and Willow Park set a new Guinness world
record in Dublin, forming the world’s largest human shamrock in 2013
Over 800 Students from Blackrock College and Willow Park set a new Guinness world record in Dublin, forming the world’s largest human shamrock in 2013

John Walshe

Fine Gael TDs in the fee paying school belt of south county Dublin breathed a sigh of relief when Labour's Minister for Education Jan O'Sullivan effectively shelved the controversial schools admissions bill during the week.

It was all so predictable. The clock is ticking louder on the lifetime of the current Dáil, which means there simply isn't time this side of a general election to enact many of the bills promised by various ministers. Even if there was, the reality is that had she tried to push the schools bill through it would have come at the cost of a huge row with Fine Gael.

The bigger party in government was never entirely happy with what some saw as unnecessary interference in admissions policies. Greater transparency in entry rules was all very well but the idea, for instance, of limiting the number of reserved places for children of past pupils to just 10pc of the annual intake was never on as far as they were concerned.

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