Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Press Release: Looney Welcomes Reversal of Local DEIS Cuts

Cllr Dermot Looney, a Labour Party Councillor on South Dublin County Council, has welcomed today’s announcement by Minister for Education and Skills Ruairi Quinn that 235 posts in disadvantaged schools in the DEIS scheme will be retained. Looney, who works as a primary teacher in Tallaght, was involved in attempts to overturn the cuts since the announcement in Budget 2012, in particular with the Band 2 schools in the area.

“I am giving a cautious welcome to news that posts in DEIS Band 1 and 2 schools are being reinstated across our area. This was a scandalous mistake by the Minister, and one which was rightly opposed by school communities across Dublin South-West. Today’s u-turn is a tribute to the schools, parents and activists who worked to save these crucial posts in our disadvantaged schools. I also want to thank our local Labour TD’s, Eamonn Maloney and Minister Pat Rabbitte, who were involved from the get-go in trying to save these posts. Schools and parents across Tallaght will breathe a sigh of relief tonight as the news breaks.”

“However, many issues remain. St Mary’s NS in Tallaght Village, which received some support as a disadvantaged school but did not fall into the DEIS Scheme, is set to lose a number of teachers. Four local post-primary schools which are in DEIS are also set to lose out. This is in addition to a decrease in the capitation grant and a swathe of other cutbacks which schools are already forced to deal with.”

“With billions of further cuts promised, I would call on Labour Ministers and TD’s to protect education and develop an economv strategy which promotes growth and investment, and not the failed policies of austerity, to meet our international obligations and grow our economy. Otherwise, the axe will continue to fall on crucial services and our communities will continue to suffer.”