Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Cobh Educational Facilities.


asked the Minister for Education when the plan for post-primary education prepared by the people of Cobh, County Cork, will be implemented.

Mr. R. Burke

Proposals in relation to the provision of appropriate educational facilities in Cobh are being examined in my Department. It is considered that further discussions with the parties concerned may be necessary for the purpose of clarification of certain aspects of the proposals relating to responsibility for the school management and administration and the specifications of the school premises to be provided.

Can the Minister give any reason for what the local people regard as undue delay in regard to this school complex and would he elaborate on the details that have yet to be ironed out regarding the school management?

Mr. R. Burke

Let me say first that there is not any undue delay and, secondly, that the matter must be brought before the Department of Education. What has happened up to now is that local people have put proposals so that a vote might be taken on them, but the matter must come before the Department.

The Minister has not answered the second part of my question. Would he agree that there are pressure groups who are causing a delay in a decision being reached by the Department?

Mr. R. Burke

In one sense everybody involved in education is a pressure group.

Even the Labour Party.

Including the Minister for Industry and Commerce.

There was some pressure group for Charlie last week. It could be regarded as being fairly sizeable.

Is the Minister saying that there is a pressure group involved?

Mr. R. Burke

It was the Deputy who used that phrase.

Is it the case that there is a pressure group in which the Minister may be interested and which are pressing him in one direction in regard to this school?

We cannot have argument in the matter.

Mr. R. Burke

I would dispute the use of the phrase "pressure group". The people involved are the management of the vocational schools, the management of the voluntary schools, the teacher unions, the parents and the students. I cannot help it if these are regarded by the Deputy as pressure groups.

Would the Minister agree that some of those vested interests are not co-operating fully in the plans for the management of the school?

Mr. R. Burke

The matters have not yet been brought to the Department with a specific plan for my acceptance. When that happens I shall be in a position to determine who is co-operating and who is not co-operating.

The Minister is hedging my question.

We must move on to the next question.