Sinn Féin spokesperson on Education, Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD, has said that the Education Minister must come out of hiding and solve the school transport shortage chaos that is affecting families across the state.
His comments came this evening after Minister Foley refused a request to appear before an Oireachtas Committee to discuss the matter.
Speaking today, Teachta Ó Laoghaire said:
“Minister Foley’s refusal to come before the Committee and give answers to families affected by the school transport crisis is shocking. She was offered no less than 5 possible dates to appear before the Committee and it is vital that families get answers and solutions to this ongoing chaos.
“Parents up and down the country are tearing their hair out as they worry about how their children will be able to go to school. Instead of showing leadership and bringing forward solutions, Minister Foley is hiding.
“Her decision shows a lack of respect for these families, who she has left high and dry.
“Sinn Féin had requested that she appear before the Committee, because we want to work with the Minister to deliver urgent, constructive solutions for the families affected. The Minister must come out of hiding and solve this crisis.
“My office has been inundated with calls from parents desperate to get a seat for their child. The Minister should have anticipated that there would be increased demand. She should have worked with Bus Éireann to find additional capacity to meet this demand. Sinn Féin has repeatedly called for 10,000 additional places on School Bus Transport.
“Expanding School Transport is a no brainer, it reduces traffic, emissions, and makes life easier and cheaper for families. But we need Minister Foley to have a vision for this.
“This is a failure of Government planning and it must be resolved urgently. Ignoring the issue solves nothing.”