The Minister for Education Ruairí Quinn has refused to release any information on the decision to withdraw DEIS posts following an FOI request from Fianna Fáil.
Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Education Brendan Smith has questioned the decision. He commented, “It is unacceptable that the Department of Education will not release even basic briefing material provided to the Minister in relation to his decision to withdraw 428 DEIS posts. On Thursday, schools and families from all over the country will converge on Dáil Éireann to demand that the Minister reverse the cuts. They have a right to see the information relied on by the Minister in making the decision in the first place.
“What makes the decision to hide this information even more frustrating is the fact that Ruairi Quinn is the man who consistently called for the remit of the Freedom of Information to be extended! Now that he is in Government, he withholds even basic material, going further than Cabinet colleagues who have released information used in the budgetary process.
“Families coming to the Dáil will be entitled to ask what the Minister is hiding. Is the Department trying to cover up for the Minister and his admitted ‘mistake’? Did the Minister receive any advice at all before taking this decision? This decision was wrong. We need transparency on how the decision was made. I am calling on the Minister to make this information available ahead of the public demonstration on Thursday.”