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Madness to let school close when alternatives cost more

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Pupils Michael Rogers (6) and Jason Gallagher (8) at the Achieve ABA school in Donaghmede, Dublin
yesterday afternoon. Their school closes today

Pupils Michael Rogers (6) and Jason Gallagher (8) at the Achieve ABA school in Donaghmede, Dublin yesterday afternoon. Their school closes today

Pupils Michael Rogers (6) and Jason Gallagher (8) at the Achieve ABA school in Donaghmede, Dublin yesterday afternoon. Their school closes today

I am not normally one who gets involved or any way confrontational, but it pains me to read such a sad article (Irish Independent, July 28) about the Government's refusal to fund a school -- established by parents -- for children with autism.

I truly thought we had turned a corner, with Enda Kenny's new openness, transparency and judging everything on its merits and value for money. But it seems madness to let a school close that costs less than the state alternatives.

Parent Daniel O'Mahony, while having a vested interest, has clearly done his homework in trying to seek alternatives and showing the higher costs of other options. I am sure he cannot believe that 'no' is the State's answer.

"Shut down your school and we, the taxpayer, will be happier to pay out more money to have your child educated in unfamiliar surroundings, with people he doesn't know, and undo all the good work of the last six years," is a chilling reply for a parent to hear.

Is this just me or does this seem ludicrous?

Moving on from the economics of the argument, these parents, instead of relying on the State, got up off their backsides and took on educating their children, as the State had not the means to assist them adequately at the time.

Are we such a cruel nation as to now simply destroy their hard work and effort to build a future for their children (who will, if they continue to be educated as they are now, more than repay this investment in future). Surely this is not right?

I feel this is a step too far and a disgrace. It is certainly against the principle that US President Barack Obama referred to recently when praising the Irish spirit and fortitude.

Garry Patterson
Leopardstown, Dublin 18

Irish Independent