The chairperson of the Board of Management of Maynooth Community College has spoken out about being refused entry to a meeting at Leinster House on the schools situation following the collapse of the Sammon Group.
Cllr Naoise O’Cearuil said: “Following the protracted fall-out of Sammon Group’s collapse and the resultant cessation to the Maynooth Education Campus building programme, Deputy Bernard Durkan TD arranged a meeting with the Minister for Education, Richard Bruton TD. The meeting was arranged to brief interested parties into the Government’s response to the issue.
“It is now understood that Deputy Durkan arranged a meeting with the Minister for Education with those to be present at the meeting being the principal’s of Maynooth Post Primary and Maynooth Community College, the two Chairpersons of the Board of Management and a parents representative.”
Cllr O’Cearuil said it is unknown at what date the meeting was arranged but he, as Chairperson of the Board of Management of Maynooth Community College (MCC) was informed of the meeting at short notice by the principal of MCC. He said he immediately arranged to travel to Leinster House but upon arriving was refused entry to the meeting.
“I arrived at the gates of Leinster House and my name wasn’t on the list of guests. I called Deputy Durkan’s office and was told that I was no longer invited to the meeting. I contacted Deputy James Lawless to just enter Leinster House. When I finally got through the gates and saw the awaiting party, I was approached by Cllr. Tim Durkan who again forced the point that I was not welcome at the meeting.,” he said.
“Cllr. Tim Durkan is the son of Bernard Durkan TD and also acts as his Secretarial Assistant. Cllr. Durkan informed Ó Cearúil that his father attempted to return his call after he had made attempts to contact him.”
In a joint statement with Cllr O’Cearuil, Kildare North Fianna Fail TD, James Lawless said he was “shocked” at the treatment of the chairperson of the Board of one of the schools and at his own omission from the meeting having raising the issue in the Dáil the previous week.
Deputy Lawless said: “This is something that both Naoise and I have been raising continuously, last week I even asked the Minister for a meeting at Dáil questions. It is common courtesy at meetings such as this to invite the other local deputies to attend but no invitation was extended. The treatment of Naoise is incredulous and such a disrespectable move to a public official and a Chairperson of Board.”
Cllr. Ó Cearúil concluded, “I encourage the Minister to give an explanation and extend a meeting to those that were excluded from today’s meeting. At the end of the day we all need to work together to get this issue resolved.”
Cllr Tim Durkan was asked for a response yesterday and the Leader is awaiting his reply.