Letter in Sunday Independent.
Mansergh needs a reality check
Sir — It was with a sense of bewilderment and dismay that I listened to Minister of State at the Department of Finance Martin Mansergh state that “the government jet and ministerial cars (with two garda drivers) were necessary for ministers to do their jobs”.
As principal of a large voluntary secondary school I am now expected to manage a school in line with the recently announced cutbacks.
This in reality will mean three less teachers (seven per cent cutbacks in staffing), reduced subject choices, no funding for free books, radical adjustments in programmes for students with special education needs, a reduction in essential grants, no funding for Traveller children, reduced substitution and supervision resulting in a curtailment of school-related activities and the availability of adequate time for subject planning and curriculum development.
Set against this background the minister’s comment would seem to be most inappropriate. The implication of his statement is that the provisions that have been withdrawn from schools were not necessary for school leaders to do their jobs.
Such logic further demonstrates how removed from reality the minister is and also how unimportant equality and social justice is for this Government.
Shay Bannon, Principal,
CBS High School,
Clonmel, Co Tipperary