Labour Councillor Johnny Kenehan has said he is shocked with the attitude of Cllr David Doran and Jim Ryan who opposed a motion seeking a reversal of education cuts at a meeting of Thurles Town Council.
Labour Councillor for Thurles Johnny Kenehan has said he is shocked with the attitude of Councillors Doran and Ryan who opposed a motion seeking a reversal of education cuts at the October monthly meeting of the Town Council.
Both Councillors had accused the Labour Party members of hypocrisy by putting forward a motion asking the Minister for Education to reverse education cuts in the primary education sector.
Cllr. Kenehan said” it is right and proper that they should put down a motion of this nature and challenge such cuts publically”. He said they sought the support of their fellow council members to add strength to the proposal and were anxious to highlight the impact of such cuts on the early education sector, the developmental stage of primary education. The motion clearly states that Thurles Town Council are calling on the Minister to maintain class levels at European norms and provide additional resources where lacking.
Cllr. Kenehan added, However, Cllrs Doran and Ryan could not see past the fact that the motion came from two Labour Councillors and allowed their bias to surface. They did not judge the motion on its merits and failed to consider it objectively as is what is required of any public representative, when such motions come before the council as a whole. Instead, they made their usual charge of hypocrisy to avoid supporting the motion.
Cllr. Kenehan said “According to the Collins English Dictionary hypocrisy means “pretence of having standards or beliefs that are contrary to one’s real character or actual behaviour” or a hypocrite “ a person who pretends to be what she or he is not”.”
Cllr Kenehan said, “Having defined the meaning of the word hypocrisy we now have to consider whether Cllrs. Doran and Ryan are removed from any such failings themselves. They may be amazed to find that have put themselves in the same category according to their interpretation of hypocrisy”.
I think it is timely to remind Cllr. Ryan that he was a member of Fianna Fáil and a proud member and a devout believer in the fiscal policies of the former Minister for Finance Charlie McCreevey and his successor Brian Cowen which laid the foundations for the economic boom and consequent bust of this country. Policies that have led to six long years of austerity for Ireland, policies that Cllr. Ryan endorsed in his affiliation to that party. The same Councillor many years ago supported the re- election of Deputy Michael O ‘Kennedy, the Fianna Fáil Minister for Agriculture and Food who signed the order to close the Sugar Factory in Thurles, one of the fiercest blows to hit the economy of this town of ours.
Cllr. Ryan was and is in the business of buying and selling property and was part of the Celtic Tiger phenomenon when prices for land and property sky-rocketed beyond the reach of ordinary people and as a businessman he was happy to partake. Does he lament doing business during the boom in a business that has brought this country to its knees? Does he feel compromised by his support of a party that has caused the country irreparable damage for generations to come? Is his support for Fianna Fáil at County Council level smacking of hypocrisy as he claims to be an Independent?
Cllr. Doran on the other hand is a member of the all-Ireland party Sinn Féin who have policies for education both for North and South of Ireland which are adopted at their Ard Fheis. I would like to remind Cllr. Doran that Sinn Féin supported the bail -out agreement for Anglo Irish Bank and others, whereas the Labour Party opposed vehemently any such blank cheques been made out to wayward Financial Institutions.
Sinn Féin are part of the power sharing Executive in Northern Ireland, here are a number of the cuts they have implemented in the North. Take careful note that the Minister for Education is a Sinn Féin Minister.
Sinn Fein is directly in charge of Education in the North under Minister John O’Dowd and formerly under Catriona Ruane MLA.
One of the most controversial elements of Sinn Fein’s education policy is the so-called “sustainable schools” policy which will see the whole-scale closure of schools in the North.
“I’m sure Cllr. Doran will agree that that there is a lengthy list of education cuts in Northern Ireland and as a party member of an all- Ireland party he shares in the responsibility of such cutbacks and supports his part wholeheartedly, if he doesn’t and objects to such cuts, does he then consider himself a hypocrite.
“I think our two councillors have a case of “the Kettle calling the Pot black”.