April 16, 2024
Cabinet reshuffle effectively downgrades Ministry of Special Education – Pauline Tully TD

Speaking after the appointment of Hildegarde Naughton as Minister for Special Education, Sinn Féin spokesperson on Disability and Carers Pauline Tully has expressed her disappointment at the effective downgrading of the Ministry of Special Education.

Teachta Tully said:

“It is very disappointing that the Taoiseach has felt it was appropriate to appoint Hildegarde Naughton as Minister for Special Education.

“This appointment has effectively reduced the Special Education Ministry to that of a part-time Ministry as Deputy Naughton is already the Government Chief Whip.

“This is very disappointing and shows a total lack of regard for this portfolio which is of utmost importance.

“It should have a Minister who can give it their undivided attention and commitment.

“It is a role that directly impacts the lives of numerous people with varied needs.

“As such, it demands a full-time dedication to ensure effective policy development, implementation, and support for those who rely on special education services.

“It also requires the time and capacity to work not only with the Minister for Education but also in full unison with the Minister for Disabilities.

“The decision to assign the Special Education portfolio as a part-time responsibility alongside the role of Government Chief Whip raises significant apprehensions about the level of attention and priority that will be afforded to the needs of special education students, educators, and families.

“Managing these responsibilities may lead to a dilution of focus on critical issues within the special education sector.

“The importance of this Ministry calls for the appointment of a dedicated full-time Minister for Special Education who can fully commit their time and efforts to addressing the complex challenges and pressing needs within this vital area of education policy.”

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