SCHOOL BUS SERVICE SAVED IN KILDORRERY
Parents and pupils at Kildorrery National School are happy this week with the announcement that they will now hold onto their school bus services for the 2011//2012 school year, reports Brian Moore.
The news follows a lengthy campaign by parents in the area, some of whom travelled to Dublin last week to present their case in person to Minister Ciaran Cannon, who has responsibility for school transport.
“We are delighted with the news and very relieved that we can plan for the new school year knowing that our children will have transport to and from school,” spokesperson for the Kildorrery School Parents Association, Maria Noonan told The Avondhu.
MEETING WITH MINISTER
After months of uncertainty, the parents met with Minister Cannon last week in Dublin.
“We have all been working very hard, and at the meeting with the minister he said that he knew that the Kildorrery School Bus service was on a viable route and that it would continue for the foreseeable future. The minister is looking at the cost structure of the school bus scheme, which we also welcome,” Maria continued.
Minister Sean Sherlock TD, who has been liaising with parents in the area, has welcomed confirmation from Bus Eireann that it will operate three buses servicing Kildorrery National School while commending parents for their efforts to retain the service.
“I appreciate this issue was a cause of anxiety for parents who will now breathe a great sigh of relief. Those who led the campaign are to be applauded for their time and commitment to the cause and presenting a very coherent case to the minister when they met with him last week,” Minister Sherlock told The Avondhu.
Deputy Tom Barry also expressed his delight at the news that Kildorrery will retain its school bus service: “I am delighted to confirm that Minister Ciaran Cannon personally assured the parents of Kildorrery last week that their three buses will be maintained.
"This decisions follows consistent pressure from several TDs in relation to this issue and I would like to particularly congratulate the committee in Kildorrery who have worked tirelessly on this issue and, in part with the assistance of our office, built up a strong case for the retention of their bus services.”
“This issue is something I feel passionately about as a rural based TD, and as a father. I have also raised serious issues about the management of the scheme by Bus Eireann and this discussion has led to the announcement by Ciaran Cannon last week that he is to seek individual audited accounts for the School Transport Scheme and an immediate €1.5m reduction in administration costs, to be followed by further similar savings following a review,” Deputy Barry added.
“This is real politics in action, as the refusal of the parents of Kildorrery to take this decision lying down has led to raising serious questions about how the Department of Education’s money is being spent by Bus Eireann. I commend them highly and am delighted with this result.”
Maria Noonan wanted to express her gratitude to everyone that supported their campaign in Kildorrery: “I want to thank everybody who has worked so hard over the last few months and also our thanks must go to Minister Sean Sherlock, Deputy Tom Barry and, of course, Minister Ciaran Cannon,” she said.
Thursday 7th July 6:30pm