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Sinn Féin challenge Aodhán Ó Ríordán’s comments on Education Policy

9 December, 2014 - by Jonathan O'Brien TD

Speaking in the Dáil this evening, Sinn Féin Education Spokesperson Deputy Jonathan O’Brien challenged Minister of State Aodhán Ó Ríordán’s comments on Sinn Féin education policy that he made during the Government’s motion of confidence in themselves.

Deputy O’Brien said;

“I understand that there’s a large element of theatrics here.

“The Labour deputies are clearly feeling the heat and are inclined towards making outlandish claims in order to deflect attention from their own poor performance in government.

“However, Minister Ó Ríordán’s comments that ‘Sinn Féin does not talk about education’ is factually incorrect.

“Education and educational equality is one of the main planks of Sinn Féin’s social policy as the Labour Party is well aware.

“In fact, if Minister Ó Ríordán is so inclined, he might reflect on his own Government’s Statement of Priorities 2014-2016 which actually only has one paragraph dedicated to Education and Skills matters. Furthermore, education wasn’t a major feature of his Government’s Programme for Government.

“Sinn Féin’s Education Minister in the Assembly John O’Dowd has long been a supporter of integrated education, and plans are in place to promote and expand shared education over the next four years.

“Sinn Féin will continue to promote policies based on educational equality as we have always done.

“Minister Ó Ríordán is entitled to make criticisms but I would ask him to base them on fact, and when he is done, I would request that kindly ask the Labour Minister for Education and Skills when she will ensure that all the outstanding SUSI grant payments will be paid to students, when all the students going to school in prefabs will have solid classrooms and when they will introduce an equality based education policy in their own Government.

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