Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Education, Thomas Byrne, has welcomed the announcement that history is to be given special status on the Junior Cert Curriculum and called for further clarity on the future of the subject.

Deputy Byrne made the comments following the announcement by the Minister for Education that History is to be given special core status on the Junior Cycle and said there can be no room for ambiguity.

He said, “It is welcome that the Minister for Education has now acted on the position of History on the Junior Cycle following years of campaigning by Fianna Fáil and many others. The Minister has been aware of the findings of the review by the NCCA for a number of months now, but also the position of leading historians, University professors and the President of Ireland.

“As a party, we have consistently campaigned for a reversal of the decision to downgrade the subject. When changes to the Junior Cert were announced, we were clear on the danger and challenges that demoting this subject would pose. We have long held the belief that if the subject is not compulsory at junior level there will be no follow through at senior level.

“Minister McHugh has previously said that he believes that we have an obligation to make sure that the next generation is informed.

“For Fianna Fáil, restoration of history’s status means the full restoration of the subject to its former position.  I will be seeking urgent clarity from the Minister that this is what he has now decided to do”, he concluded.