Minister criticised over closure of Limerick school

Nick Rabbitts

Reporter:

Nick Rabbitts

A FORMER mayor has claimed that Education Minister Ruairi Quinn was “hiding” behind the City VEC when it came to announcing the closure of St Enda’s.

A FORMER mayor has claimed that Education Minister Ruairi Quinn was “hiding” behind the City VEC when it came to announcing the closure of St Enda’s.

It was revealed this week that the southside school was to wind down and close to post-primary education within three years.

Instead, the facility will focus on adult education.

But Fine Gael councillor Jim Long says the Labour Minister should have delivered the bad news himself.

“I am at a loss to understand why the VEC has found itself in a role of announcing the closure of a school. I always maintained the order comes from the Minister’s desk, and he is hiding behind the VEC,” Cllr Long said.

Opposition to the closure has come from far and wide, with one of the parents Noelle O’Malley, Crosagalla, saying they feel they did not have any say on its future.

After staging a demonstration outside the school on Monday, a number of parents were allowed to attend the school meeting, where the axe fell on the school.

“They had the decision made before we even got in there. They said the parents knew - the parents do not know. It was very bad form. They should have sat down with the parents to discuss with them,” Ms O’Malley said, confirming there will be an appeal.

Her daughter Jessica, 12, does not want to leave the school, she added.

“There was anger, shock. The decision was not put to the parents at all. It has been planned for a long time,” she claimed.

Councillor Ger Fahy called for the decision to be re-examined: “I do think we should have taken into consideration the very fact that under regeneration, we are looking at rebuilding communities, and houses. This would increase the population, and increase the amount of children, and avoid the closure of the school. A local school might be necessary for the rebuilding of the school in the years to come, and this is why this decision needs to be looked at again.”