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Learning of Music should not be for an Elite

31 August, 2004

Sinn Féin City Councillor David Cullinane has given his support to a the campaign to secure teaching of music at W.I.T. Speaking after attending a public meeting organised by the Waterford Music School Action Group, Cllr Cullinane said that the learning of music should not be for an elite.

David said:

I am giving my full support and that of my party to the WMSAG campaign. I would first like to commend all of those, including the parents and pupils, who are bravely taking on the W.I.T. hierarchy. The organisers of the campaign have quite clearly shown that this issue is not even about fees but about cost cutting exercises within W.I.T. However the 20% increase in fees demanded by W.I.T. this year are in my view totally unacceptable.

There has to be equality of access for all students who wish to learn music. Finance should not and cannot be a barrier to any child receiving what is a right, to be educated in whatever field they so wish. Ireland has a rich tradition in music and indeed it is one of our best exports. To turn our backs on these young children would be a total disgrace.

I am calling on those in authority in W.I.T. to step back from confrontation. I also call on the Dept of Education to directly intervene and recognise that it is a shortage of funds within W.I.T., which is the primary issue here. All of us must do what we can to ensure that the rights of these children are protected. ENDS

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