Senator O’ Reilly, Cavan/Monaghan-“We need to have a debate on education and to knock on the head immediately the notion that a barrier to entry to college would be put in place”

Sitting Time:11:10 Sitting Date03/11/2010

Senator Joe O’Reilly: We should have a detailed debate on education today. Education is the one vehicle to create equality of opportunity and to achieve economic recovery. The proposal to double or almost double the registration fee is very dangerous and is not the right place to look for money. It will act has a huge barrier to access to education.
Many families, with whom we deal on a day-to-day basis, are in extraordinarily tight positions and they will simply not be able to meet a doubling in the registration fee. It will mean that education returns to the situation which existed when we were children where it was the preserve of a certain class and group of people.

There are two things wrong with that. The first is the inequality and injustice of it and the second is the great resource which will be missing when we seek to recover and grow our economy into the future.
Many other areas could be looked at in terms of the administration of the university system. There have even been notable and well-documented cases of excessive salaries at the top of the university pyramid. We can look at many areas but not at preventing access to our brightest and best.

With the collapse of the building industry and many other sectors, the only inheritance and empowering thing parents throughout the country can pass on to their children, despite the level of unemployment, is an education to give them dignity and fulfilment as a person and to equip them to avail of future economic opportunities.

Senator Joe O'Reilly representing Cavan & Monaghan 2010. | An ExSite website