Fianna Fáil Education Spokesperson Thomas Byrne TD has reacted to an application by the Edmund Rice Schools Trust, patron of Clonkeen College, to dissolve the board of the College.
Deputy Byrne said, “It would be unconscionable, in the absence of any allegation of wrongdoing whatsoever, to dissolve a Board of Management in circumstances where the board believes it is acting in the best interests of the school community.
“Under the law, the Minister for Education must approve the dissolution of a school Board of Management. I call on the Minister not to allow the board be dissolved because if he does, it would result in grossly unfair damage to the reputations of Board members, who by all accounts are doing excellent work.
“This is a dispute between the board and the patron and should not result in the board being dissolved. The Minister needs urgently to put in place a dispute resolution mechanism to resolve this.
“In terms of the matter of the lands, Cllr Mary Hanafin has proposed that the Department take over the lands instead of money in respect of redress for institutional abuse. This could considerably assist in resolving the matter.
“Cllr Cormac Devlin has proposed that all sides sit down for talks with a mediator to resolve matters.
“I urge the Minister to act on the positive proposals that Fianna Fáil is putting forward and not to accede to the demand to dissolve the board.”