Fine Gael General Election Candidate Garret Ahearn had Minister for Education Richard Bruton visit Tipperary last Friday to make an announcement of 900 new SNA posts across the country.
The announcement was made at Leugh National School near Thurles. This will bring the number of SNA’s in Tipperary to 463. Speaking at Leugh NS Garret Ahearn said he was “delighted that the Minister decided to make the announcement in Tipperary today and I think it once again shows the committed this government has in Education and recognises the benefit that SNA’s bring to a school“.
The Minister arrived in Tipperary on Thursday night to Chair the Fine Gael Constituency Agm in the Horse and Jockey Hotel. It was the first opportunity for the now Candidate Garret Ahearn to address the party since the convention back in March. Mr Ahearn outlined his vision for how he and Fine Gael will win back a seat as well as taking a pop at his opponents calling the independents, TD’s “who will promise the sun, moon and stars but have failed this County”. Minister Bruton had a private meeting with the FG Councillors and Mr Ahearn where it was said that the issue of deis status for the five Tipperary Town primary schools was a major topic. Minister Bruton acknowledged the concerns made by Garret Ahearn and Local Councillors and reiterated that a review is ongoing.
After a morning in LIT Thurles where the Department of Education held a Panel discussion on the Action Plan for Education and a visit to the new FET training Centre in Acherstown Industrial Estate Minister Bruton travelled to the home village of Garret Ahearn to meet the Principal Marie Keating, Vice Principal Richard Carroll, Staff and Pupils of Grange National School. Principal Marie Keating said "Grange NS were delighted and honoured to welcome Minister Bruton to the school along with past pupil Garret Ahearn. We thank him for raising our 5th Green Flag for Biodiversity along with making a presentation to Liam Ahearn who has served on the school Board of Management for over 30 years. The children were delighted to chat to the visitors and perform for them. Tribute was also paid to Teresa Ahearn TD on the day who was a staunch supporter of the school up until her death in September 2000. A memorable day for all in Grange NS".
Garret Ahearn also brought Minister Bruton to Cashel Community School where they both addressed an assembly of Pupils and Staff. Principal John Gallagher outlined the urgency for the approval of current applications to the building section of the Department of Education. Mr Gallagher described the growth of the school as “a victim of our own success”. Mr Ahearn said he is committed to working with the Minister to support the School in their Application. “Cashel community school is the largest school in Tipperary and the initial design which catered for 500 pupils is not sustainable. The demand far exceeds the capacity of the building” he said.
Clonmel was the final visit of the day. At Kickham Barracks JoeMacGrath, CEO of Tipperary County Council, Sinead Carr Director of Services and Fionuala McGeever, CEO of Tipperary ETB, met with Minister Bruton. Tipperary County Council agreed to purchase the Kickham Barracks site with the intention to develop the lands as a dynamic, innovative and creative cultural, educational and civic quarter in Clonmel. Minister Bruton along with Garret Ahearn, Cllr Michael Murphy and Cllr Siobhan Ambrose were giving a tour of the site and shown a master plan. They then travelled to the Questum Acceleration Centre for a meeting with Tipperary Chamber of Commerce CEO David Shanahan and President TJ Kinsella. The Minister concluded the visit by saying he “was delighted to visit Tipperary with our Fine Gael Candidate Garret Ahearn. It was great to see all the work being done at a local level in Tipperary schools and training centres across the county”