Fianna Fáil Education Spokesperson Thomas Byrne TD has said the following in relation to the situation at Educate Together schools in New Ross, Trim, Castlebar, Tramore and Tuam.

“Parental and family choice in education is a basic principle that Fianna Fáil advocated in Government and seeks now. Where a School is established by the Department, it should never be done in a half-hearted way.

“Establishment of new half stream schools should be completely ruled out except in extreme circumstances, and it’s hard to imagine any, and certainly doesn’t apply in the Educate Together schools in Trim, New Ross, Castlebar, Tramore and Tuam.

“The Minister for Education is full of announcements and rhetoric about multi denominational education. The Programme for Government commits to 400 new multi denominational schools. The reality of delivery is far different. Minister Bruton has effectively delivered nothing so far in his term, with even the Schools Admissions Bill languishing due to Government inaction and these schools told to only half-operate.

“If in Government, Fianna Fáil would not allow these schools to operate on a half stream basis. We would establish them on at least a one full stream basis. Fianna Fáil demands that the Government, now that these schools are established, to allow these schools to operate to the full potential of the parental and family demand for them. This would allow the schools to operate as a normal school and satisfy the reasonable demands of parents and families,” concluded Deputy Byrne.