Alliance against Cutbacks in Education [ACE] Crucifying the Innocent to balance the books

6 months ago, the Minister for Education, Ruairí Quinn, was busy in the
media defending the decision of his Labour and Fine Gael colleagues to
attack the level of provision for children with special needs. The
allocation
of Special Needs Assistants [SNA’s] was to be dramatically reigned in and
the provision of vital one-to-one resource-teaching hours was to be cut by
10%. Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, re-assured the parents of children with special
needs that “all children with special needs will still have access to the
extra
resources they require”. Those who foretold that these immoral cuts would
amount to an attack on the basic rights of children with special needs, and
that they would have life-changing effects on children with disabilities,
were
dismissed as bleeding-hearts with little grasp of reality.

6 months on and the Alliance against Cutbacks in Education [ACE] has
the evidence to show the disgusting effect of the government’s cutbacks on
children with special needs.

In recent weeks, parents of children with special needs have written to
the ACE campaign and described in some details the regression and
unfulfilled potential that has resulted directly from government cuts.
Attached is the story of 6 children with special needs, 2 from Wexford
and 4 from Dublin. Their stories typify the new reality for children with
special needs in the era of “access for all” as outlined by Enda and Co.

Tomás O Dúlaing, Chairperson of the ACE campaign, described the evidence
of regression as “damning and disgusting”. He said that examples such as
those highlighted in this press statement “provide irrefutable proof of the
damage being visited upon children with special needs”. He added; “our
most vulnerable children have been chosen by Fine Gael and Labour to be
among the sacrificial lambs to be placed on the altar of austerity. Then,
the
very same political cabal that decimates the future prospects of these
children
effortlessly plucks up to €39million from state coffers to cover the legal
fees
of churches, some of whom consciously protected paedophile predators. The
hypocracy of these 2 realities seems lost on our political masters who seem
content to dispense largesse and decimation in equal measure, depending on
whether one comes from the ranks of the rich and powerful, or from the more
vulnerable and less well off”.

Tomás concluded by demanding of the teacher trade union leaders
that “they stop turning the other cheek on this issue, stop hiding behind
the Croke Park agreement and that they actively make a stand on behalf
of children with special needs”.

For further information, please contact Tomás at 087-7518210.

Non-profit Umbrella Group of Like Minded People Fighting Against Cuts
In Education.
Chairperson: Tomas O Dulaing. Contact: 00353877518210 –
todulaing@hotmail.com

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