Donegal Sinn Féin TD Pearse Doherty has accused the government of abandoning the children of County Donegal.
Deputy Doherty made his comments as the numbers of permanent primary school teaching posts in the county that are to be removed from their existing school was published.
He called the loss of 36 permanent teaching posts “an attack on the children” of the county.
Deputy Doherty said: “Details published of the numbers of Donegal teachers who have lost their positions in their schools show that Donegal has taken a hammering when it comes to education cuts. The Department of Education has confirmed that 36 permanent teachers in Catholic schools in Donegal will to look for a job elsewhere. When we compare this to what has happened across the state, we see that of the 376 positions, 10% of those are in Donegal.
“The government can no longer hide the fact that their education cuts are an attack on rural Ireland and on Gaeltacht education, but most importantly they are an attack on the children of my county. Many Donegal schools have already lost positions as a result of previous cuts by the Fianna Fáil government and are now suffering a further blow.
“The loss of 36 teaching positions lost to primary schools across Donegal is even higher when you include schools that have lost a position but that the teacher is able to stay in their schools as a result of another teacher in the same school retiring on taking a career break. The figure of 36 also doesn’t t include losses in schools under the patronage of the Church of Ireland, Educate Together, An Foras Patrunachta or the Special National Panel, as a county breakdown is currently available for those schools.
He added: “It is an absolute disgrace that 10% of all teaching positions removed from schools under catholic patronage are in Donegal. There is no defence for this. It is clear that our government TDs and Senator have failed the people once again. At this late stage I call on them to call for a reversal of these cuts and stand up for small rural schools many of whom operate in the Gaeltacht.”
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