29 November 2008

8000 protest in Donegal against Education Cuts

Today over 8000 people took part in a protest march in Donegal town against the government's cuts in the education budget. The protesters included teachers, parents and members of boards of management from schools across the north-west of Ireland and came mainly from counties Sligo, Leitrim and Donegal.

They outnumbered the 2500 inhabitants of Donegal town by more than 3:1, and a good number of local residents also joined the demonstration.

The gathering in Donegal was addressed by John Carr (right), General Secretary of the Irish National Teachers' Organisation (INTO).
Representatives of other teaching unions were also present.

INTO, which has already organised a number of protests around the country (see my entries of October 29th and November 22nd) since the 2009 Budget was introduced by Finance Minister Brian Lenihan on October 14th (see my entry of that day), is planning further demonstrations in the near future.

The largest of them is a national rally, which will be held in Dublin next Saturday.

INTO's courageous President Declan Kelleher (left) said that there is strong political support for the campaign, and from my own observations I can second this statement.

I would also urge anyone who has the time and opportunity to be in Dublin next Saturday to join the protest march. Education is the key to our future, and we should do everything in our power to prevent the damaging cuts the government has proposed for the education budget.

The Emerald Islander

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