Dáil Éireann - Volume 282 - 12 June, 1975

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Clare School.

39. Mr. Daly asked the Minister for Education if he proposes to close down Tarmon National School, County Clare; and, if so, why.

Mr. Bruton: Tarmon is a one-teacher school with an enrolment of 14 pupils. It is proposed to amalgamate it with the schools in Kilkee so as to give the pupils the educational advantages of larger school units.

Mr. Daly: Had the Department consultations with the parents of the pupils attending the school before a decision was taken to amalgamate it?

Mr. Bruton: I understand a letter was received from the reverend manager yesterday to the effect that he had got the agreement of the parents to the amalgamation and that he had also got the agreement of the Bishop.

Mr. Daly: The Parliamentary Secretary does not seem to be aware that the parents are disturbed about the closing of the school and see no valid [330] reason why it should be closed. They are anxious that it should remain open.

Mr. Bruton: That is not the information conveyed to the Department.

Mr. Daly: Did the Department make inquiries?

Mr. Bruton: The Department received a letter from the reverend manager on the matter.

Mr. Daly: Did the Department make inquiries from the parents about the closure?

Mr. Bruton: They relied on the manager who is the Department's agent in the matter to get this information.

Mr. Taylor: Is the Parliamentary Secretary aware that the parents of the children attending this school called on me and, I think, on the other Deputies for the county, and they would now like the school to remain open for a further year, or two, if necessary, in view of the fact that next year a number of children will be attending the school.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: That is a separate matter. The Deputy is giving the House information.

Mr. Taylor: In view of that information will the Minister reconsider?

Mr. Bruton: I will undertake to convey what both Deputies have said to the Minister.

Mr. J. Lynch: How does the Minister reconcile the decision to close Tarmon school and transfer the pupils, numbering about 14, to another bigger school to give the pupils the benefit of a wider curriculum and more teaching power, with his decision to keep Scoil Dún Chaoin open?

Mr. Bruton: That matter has been discussed exhaustively in the Dáil and there would be no point in my engaging in a discussion on it at this point.

Mr. J. Lynch: Does not the same principle apply to education whether the school is in a Gaeltacht area or in a Breac-Ghaeltacht area as Clare may be called?

[331] Mr. Bruton: The Minister has explained at considerable length the considerations which informed his decision in relation to Dún Chaoin.