The U-Turn on college fees by Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairí Quinn TD and the Labour Party is causing distress and worry to many secondary school students who are doing their Leaving Certificate this month and their families’ according to Fianna Fáil Senator for Meath East, Thomas Byrne.
This follows comments by the Minister where he was unable to give a definite commitment that the only fees to be paid would be the Student Charge made during an interview with Sean O’Rourke on RTÉ’s News at One (30th May 2011).
‘During the recent General Election Campaign, Ruairí Quinn and other Labour candidates signed a Union of Students of Ireland Pledge not to introduce College Fees. Labour also promised to reverse the €500 increase in the Student Registration Fee’ added Senator Byrne.
In February 2011, Labour Leader, now Tánaiste, Eamon Gilmore stated ‘Labour is opposed to 3rd Level Fees by either the front or back doors”.  Ruairí Quinn, without even trying, has dumped this pledge in the bin.
‘This U-Turn is part of a litany of U-Turns that the Fine Gael – Labour Government has made since coming into office – with College Fees, Water Charges and the Household Charge among them,‘ concluded Senator Byrne.