Saturday 25 January 2020

Local heroes

I write regarding the ongoing debate on small schools and the recent threat of their amalgamation and eventual extinction.

A major question needs to be asked as to the costing of those proposed amalgamations and whether we should acknowledge the unique role that these small schools have played in Ireland in providing for education and a sense of place for all the children of this State.

These schools connect people; they are a focal point in their respective communities and cement these communities together in the common goal of provision of the best educational facilities possible for their children.

The small school has the biggest heart because it is all things to a community -- education, community, sport, information -- and it forges that 'togetherness' that is what we Irish are about. Our roots, our heritage, our Irishness, all is based on our childhood learning, half of which is in schools, and Minister Ruairi Quinn should remember that sometimes there is more to be saved in keeping these small schools open than by closing them.

What we Irish people will have lost can never be retrieved and it is what makes us proud of our country, our heritage and our local schools

Jenny McHugh
Navan, Co Meath

Irish Independent

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