Donegal schoolgirl tells Leo just what she thinks

Ríonach unhappy being separated from best friend in classroom

Donegal schoolgirl tells Leo just what she thinks

Seven-year-old Ríonach Fegan from Prucklish, Termon

A seven-year-old Donegal girl has shared her thoughts and feelings on the changes she has to deal with in school in a letter to Leo Varadkar - and the tánaiste has replied to explain why such changes are necessary.

Ríonach Fegan from Prucklish, Termon decided to write to the leader of Fine Gael to tell him she was a little upset and to let him know she didn't like the new rules because they meant being separated from her best friend.

The second class pupil at St Colmcille's National School, Termon decided to put pen to paper on September 31 and tell Leo exactly what she thought!

Mum Jacqui explains Ríonach was a little put out when she couldn't sit beside her best friend, Kate O'Gara, in Ms Soracha McConigley’s class as the children had to be divided up into pods to adhere to the social distancing regulations.
“She first asked if I could ask the teacher, then the headmaster if she could sit beside Kate but I told her we had to stick to the new rules.

“She then asked who was in charge and when I replied, the Government, she said she was going to write to Leo Varadkar and ask for an explanation.”

Ríonach with her letter for Leo

Jacqui added so determined was Ríonach to get her message direct to the powers that be that she wouldn't even trust her to post the letter for her!

“You can imagine the shock I got on Tuesday evening when I saw the letter addressed to her with the gold Government harp on it.

“Ríonach was so excited to open it and while she didn't get the news she wanted, she was still very happy to get a response.”

In his reply Mr Varadkar thanked Ríonach for her letter and hoped she was happy to be back in school with her friends.

In relation to her disappointment about being separated from her best friend, the tánaiste explained pods were needed to keep one another safe but this wouldn’t last forever.

“I am sure that as soon as it is safe to do so you will be allowed to sit beside your best friend again. Let's hope it won't be too long before this happens,” he said.

He asked Ríonach a favour: “Will you take care of your family because that is so important right now.

“We need all our heroes to keep on doing what they can and I know that I can depend on you,” he said.

Ríonach is taking the letter to school today (Thursday) to show her classmates.

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