Donegal North East TD Charlie McConalogue has been promoted to Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Education and Skills, following a reorganisation of the Fianna Fáil Front Bench.
In making the appointment, the Fianna Fáil Leader Micheál Martin said Deputy McConalogue will be responsible for a key area of policy development within Fianna Fáil.
Deputy Martin said: “Education is a top priority for Fianna Fáil and I am delighted that Charlie McConalogue is taking over such a crucial area of responsibility within the party.
“Never has it been more important to protect funding for our schools, enhance learning at all levels, and increase access to quality third level education.
“I know that Charlie McConalogue will bring great energy to this hugely important position and will challenge the Education Minister Ruairí Quinn as he continues to break the many promises he made to students and families.”
Deputy McConalogue will mount a robust defence to Minister Quinn’s attack on small schools and minority faith schools in Donegal and across the country.
“Donegal has been particularly badly hit by the Government’s systematic attack on small rural schools and minority faith schools. In addition to this, the cuts in funding for school transport are creating more problems for families in Donegal,” said Deputy McConalogue.
“There is no doubt in my mind that Minister Quinn’s policy will lead to forced amalgamations, with some communities in Donegal at risk of losing their local school.
“I intend to fight this at every turn. I believe that every child in Donegal and across the country has a right to a quality education in their own community.
“I am looking forward to challenging Minister Quinn in the Dáil on his policies in relation to small schools, DEIS schools, special needs assistants, school buses and third level fees. I will strongly represent the views of families and students in Donegal and across the country, while this government seems intent on dismantling all the progress we have made with our education system over the years.”