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Minister Ryan votes for savage cuts in education

30 October, 2008

South Dublin Sinn Féin Spokesperson Shaun Tracey has sharply criticised Green Party Minister and South Dublin TD Eamon Ryan for standing over Government cuts in education and for voting against a motion to reverse the decision to increase class sizes in the Dáil today.

He said, "The Green Party went into last year's election with a promise to invest in education. However, today, Green Party TDs, including Dublin South TD Eamon Ryan, voted against a motion to reverse the disastrous decision to increase class sizes.

"The savage budget cuts in education, brought in by Fianna Fáil and the Greens will have a devastating effect on schools, teachers and pupils throughout Dublin South.

"In my own constituency of Glencullen there are massive educational needs with the population having grown by over 10,000 in recent years. These cuts will have a devastating impact on the provision of education for the thousands of children in the Glencullen ward who will be starting school in the coming years.

"Holy Trinity National School in Leopardstown has been awaiting a permanent school building since it opened its doors in 2004. The community which it serves has been waiting for a school for over 20 years. However, with cuts in the funding for school buildings included in the Fianna Fáil/Green Party budget it is likely to be many waiting many more years for a permanent building. The Government is in real terms condemning the children of the area to further years being taught in unsuitable prefab accommodation.

"Minister Ryan and his colleagues will have to answer to their constituents in the next election. He will have to explain to the voters of Glencullen why he voted in favour of cuts that will have such a negative impact on the provision of education in this constituency.

"There were other revenue raising options open to the Government but instead they decided to target the young and the elderly.

"Minister Ryan should have used his seat at the cabinet table to fight against these education cutbacks. When it became clear that Fianna Fáil were determined to implement these cuts he should have taken a principled stand even if it meant bringing down this Government.

"Instead he chose to support these cuts and shamefully rose to his feet to give a standing ovation to Finance Minster Brian Lenihan after he announced these cuts in his budget speech.

"Our young and old people deserved so much more." ENDS

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