Cavan/Monaghan Fianna Fáil TD Brendan Smith has once again voiced his strong opposition to the proposed closure of St. Bricin’s College, Belturbet and St. Mogue’s College, Bawnboy. He said that the Minister’s decision is most regrettable and that there had not been adequate or meaningful consultation as required by Department regulations. He also added and there is not buy-in by the local communities in Bawnboy and Belturbet to this proposed development which is also a Department requirement for school amalgamations.
“Minister McHugh promised to meet a deputation, representatives of both St. Mogue’s and St. Bricin’s, and he failed to honour this commitment despite a number of follow up requests in relation to a date for the meeting.
Replies to Parliamentary Questions and other Debates in Dáil Éireann have been far from adequate and actually amounted to non-answers; for example the most recent reply to a Dáil Question due for answer last Friday in relation to a meeting once again did not reply to the question posed (please see attached) and again this is unacceptable.
Both the Minister and his Department have questions to answer in relation to what analysis or consideration was given to the case I put forward through Parliamentary Questions and a Topical Issue Debate in relation to this important matter. Similarly both Save our Schools St Bricin’s College and St Mogue’s College made very strong submissions backed up with excellent research and data in relation to retaining both schools and the Fine Gael Minister Joe McHugh must answer what considerations, if any, were given to their views. It is obvious that such submissions were ignored”, stated Deputy Brendan Smith.
For Written Answer on : 06/09/2019
Question Number(s): 458 Question Reference(s): 36468/19
Department: Education and Skills
Asked by: Brendan Smith T.D.
To ask the Minister for Education and Skills when he will meet with a deputation as requested by local community groups (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Details Supplied) REQUEST BY SAVE OUR SCHOOLS COMMITTEE – ST BRICIN’S COLLEGE, BELTURBET, CO CAVAN AND ST MOGUE’S COLLEGE, BAWNBOY, CO CAVAN
I wish to advise the Deputy that the decision making authority for any amalgamation belongs to the Patron/Trustees of the schools, and this is then subject to the approval of my Department.
In this regard, consultations with the various stakeholders are held with the Patrons in question and I understand that this has taken place locally.