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27/09/2021

Tipperary TD's concerns as 22 Kilcommon students lose out on school bus places

Tipperary TD's concerns as 22 Kilcommon students lose out on school bus places

Tipperary TD's concerns as 22 Kilcommon students lose out on school bus places

Tipperary TD Jackie Cahill is waiting for answers from the Minister for Education and Bus Éireann as to why 22 students from Kilcommon have been left without places on the school bus to bring them to school in Thurles.

Bus Éireann has notified the families of 22 secondary school students in the Kilcommon area that they will not be provided with school transport to Thurles this academic year, said the Fianna Fáil TD.

This was due to the random allocation process used by Bus Éireann. This is due to the Thurles schools not meeting the strict rule of being the first or second closest school to the Kilcommon area.

It is understood that the students were told that, in some cases, schools in Borrisoleigh and Doon, were closer than their chosen schools in Thurles.

Deputy Cahill has written to Bus Éireann and to the Minister for Education on this issue requesting that urgent action be taken to provide an additional school bus for the route.

“I have been informed that there are 22 children on the secondary school bus route from Kilcommon to Thurles who have been refused concessionary school bus tickets as Thurles is neither the closest nor the second closest school to the Kilcommon area," he said.

However, Deputy Cahill pointed out that Thurles was the local town for Kilcommon and a majority of all primary school students in the area opt for second level education in Thurles.

"This is simply how rural life works in this part of Tipperary. Deciding bus ticket allocations based purely on the metric of kilometres from the school does not suit a scenario like this and I believed a more nuanced approached needs to be taken," he said.

He said that he had stated this clearly to Bus Éireann, the Department of Education and Minister Foley, and that 22 students being left without school transport in rural Ireland was "an outrage".

“It is environmental madness to tell 22 families to drive their children to school rather than providing a bus. It will lead to further traffic congestion in Thurles at rush hour each morning and evening, and it will also have a major impact on the lives of busy parents who will now have to try and reschedule their entire days for school runs.

“With an additional demand of 22 students in an area for a school bus, I firmly believe that Bus Éireann has a duty and obligation to run an additional bus on this route to meet this obvious demand locally," said Deputy Cahill.

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