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“Fine Gael concern around School Bus allocations amounts to mock outrage,” Mattie McGrath

Independent TD Mattie McGrath has described the apparent concern expressed by Fine Gael members with respect to the crisis affecting the allocation of School Bus places, as disingenuous and contrived. Deputy McGrath was speaking as hundreds of families in County Tipperary look set to be left without school transport for their children at the start of the academic year in September:

“Each year we have the same problem emerging with parents and children being left to fight for seat places. This is despite the fact that solutions have been consistently offered to government for the last number of years.

What parents find deeply frustrating however is having to listen to Fine Gael members like Cllr Garret Ahearne and election candidates like Mary Newman Julian shifting the entirety of the blame on to Minister of State, John Halligan.

The fact is that as incompetent as Minister Halligan has proven to be in dealing with this issue, it is actually the Fine Gael Minister for Public Expenditure, Pascal Donohue, who is ultimately at the root of this because of his unwillingness to release the additional €4 million in funding that would resolve the problem.

We know this because Minister Halligan himself confirmed this only today to a national newspaper.

So when we hear Fine Gael councillors and candidates expressing their concerns on this issue, we should just remember that what they are really about is shifting the focus away from the failings of their own party member, the Minister for Public Expenditure.

If they were serious about addressing the problem then they would have already called on Pascal Donohue to take his grip off the purse strings in order to help those families who are in dire need of school transport,” concluded Deputy McGrath.