Mayo marches against school closures - 1000's demonstrate in Castlebar


Anger at threatened closure of smaller rural schools



Thousands rallied and marched through the streets of Castlebar on Saturday 25th to protest the governments plan to further destroy rural life by closing small schools.

Parents, children and teachers from all over rural County Mayo gathered at the Mall in the center of Castlebar where they listened to a speaker outline Minister for Education Ruairi Quinn's plan to close smaller schools. The misjudged plan will force more and more rural parents to find alternative schooling for their children in larger towns and urban centers. This will mean huge upheaval to the lives of many ordinary people living in those affected areas.

The closure of these small schools will lead to further expense on families already suffering the effects of the governments austerity measures which they are forcing on ordinary people at the behest of the EU/ECB/IMF puppet masters who are pulling the strings for reckless capatilist speculators and bondholders. For rural communities, closure of their local schools will mean unemployment for local teachers, a serious unraveling of the social fabric which hold these communities together. It will mean extra cost in terms of time, travel expenses leading to unhappiness and unnecessary stress. Children will be forced to go to schools where class sizes are ever increasing ensuring less time and attention spent with each individual child, which will especially impact on children with special needs.

The speaker stated from the platform that the Minister has shown no understanding or cares not what happen to these children and their families in rural Ireland. The taoiseach has demonstrated further lack of political integrity by directly allowing yet another reversal on election promises, by allowing the closure of smaller schools. One could be excused for thinking that being a teacher himself with some understanding of the value of proper education the taoiseach would be interested in intervening.

The real Program for Government is now coming out of the shadows, paycuts, slave labour, decimation of the public health service, closure of necessary hospital beds, further austerity for ordinary people including highly unfair household and septic tank charges, implementation of the neo-liberal economic policies of the Capitalist élite and now the destruction of one of the cornerstones of rural life the local schoolhouse which has served generations of children who have grown up to face this overt betrayal by government.

The protester who marched to Enda Kenny's office delivered a letter which highlighted the betrayal and treachery faced by them from a government who cares not for democracy or popular dissent. But the citizens are angry and are saying they have had ENOUGH. The rulers don't seem to have's time to make them listen.


Frank Ryan