Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Transport for School Children.

Mr. A. Byrne

asked the Minister for Education if he is aware that a children's bus from Finglas housing area to Rutland Street National Schools is urgently required; and, if so, if he will request C.I.E. to provide a bus for this school.

Special bus services have been established to provide educational facilities for children, who have recently been transferred to the new housing area in Finglas, pending the provision of adequate school accommodation in their own area. Senior boys are being conveyed to East Wall Boys' School where spare accommodation of a very suitable character is available for about 300 pupils. The girls and infants are being conveyed to Gardiner Street Convent which had, at the inception of the scheme, similar accommodation for about 500 children.

Some hundreds of the children concerned had previously been enrolled in other schools throughout the old city area and a considerable number of those have elected to remain on, in small groups, in the schools which they formerly attended. They travel to their old schools by bus at the reduced rates applicable to school children rather than avail themselves of the special buses provided by the Department. In none of these cases, however, is there sufficient children to warrant the provision of a special bus and it would be impracticable to provide a special bus or buses which would range over a number of schools situated at a distance from one another.

I understand that in the schools to which the Deputy refers there are on the rolls only 31 boys and 19 girls from the Finglas area. As double-deck buses carry 100 children, and single deckers over 60, it would be a completely uneconomical arrangement to provide two buses, one for boys and one for girls, to cater for these 50 children.

Mr. A. Byrne

Is the Minister aware that a number of families whose children formerly went to Rutland Street schools have been removed to a corporation housing area three or four miles away? We have asked that buses be provided to bring these children back to Rutland Street National School but the remedy which has been applied is, not to bring them back to the Rutland Street school, but to other schools in the city to which buses, which are already overcrowded, are plying, thus taking from the teachers in Rutland Street the benefit of the attendance of children who formerly went to these schools. That is not playing the game with the teachers in Rutland Street and it should not be tolerated by the Minister. He should allow us to go on with our housing policy and let the children go back to the schools which they formerly attended until schools are provided for them in their own area.