Row breaks out over Wexford school places meeting
WEXFORD'S Labour former mayor has accused Fianna Fail of politicising a planned non-political meeting of parents concerned about the shortage of school places in the town. However, the complaint has been dismissed as a 'cheap shot'.
Former Mayor Cllr George Lawlor said the meeting had been organised to take place at the Talbot Hotel on December 16, despite its organisers being made aware that neither he or Minister Brendan Howlin would be available that night because the Dail sits on Wednesdays.
'While Fianna Fail plays political games we will continue to work assiduously in the background in an effort to seek a satisfactory resolution to this urgent issue,' said Cllr Lawlor who, along with Minister Howlin, has been involved in talks with the principals of all five Wexford town secondary schools to discuss the growing crisis in secondary school places.
The meeting is being organised by solicitor and former Fianna Fail Senator Lisa McDonald and has among its key speakers FF election candidate Cllr Malcolm Byrne, who rounded on Cllr Lawlor's comments saying that Lisa McDonald was involved 'as a mother of kids'.
'I was asked to help because we had a similar problem in Gorey when children in North Wexford couldn't get access to Gorey Community School.. I work in education and am happy to help out and I am disappointed that George would take this approach,' said Cllr Byrne.
'This is far too serious a problem to become political,' said Cllr Byrne, 'I would rather work with George on an issue like this than have to deal with cheap political shots.'
He said a number of dates had been mooted when the venue was booked and December 16 was the best available given the large number of Christmas parties being booked around the same time.
'I am quite certain they (Labour) could send a representative if they want.'
Lisa McDonald refuted any suggestion that the meeting or the motive behind it was political.
'I invited all five TDs and councillors to come down and two to speak, one is (Cllr) Jim Moore and the other is Malcolm and asked them not to be political,' she told this newspaper.
'All we're asking the politicians to do is to sort this out.. this is something that affects my family and my children and many other people in Wexford,' she said.