Fianna Fáil Senator Thomas Byrne has claimed that small rural schools in County Meath are now under direct threat from the Labour/Fine Gael Government.

He commented, “Today’s education cuts fall on small rural schools under 86 pupils. They are the ones whose pupil teacher ratio is being increased and to whom the Department advised to “consider their future”.

At the same time, the only scheme which targets educational disadvantage in rural areas appears to have been singled out for the Minister’s axe.

“Additionally, the doubling of school transport charges applies only to rural areas.”

“Most importantly, schools all over rural Meath will now be questioning their future as Government support dries up”.

“This suburban Dublin attitude to Education is extremely disappointing, will be counter-productive and should be stopped. Minister McEntee has portrayed himself as the champion of rural Ireland. Some of these schools are in his area and parish. Can he stand over this?,” concluded Senator Byrne.