While Public Health won’t allow a hundred supporters into a vast venue like Croke Park for a match, at the same time it insists that its safe for 125 pupils in a school with a covid outbreak to reopen today, where pupils and staff attend 5 days a week, 6 hours a day, and that is not logical, according to the Principal of Claremorris Boys NS.
Speaking to Midwest News Mark Loftus says the Dept of Education has instructed their school to reverse the decision on Thursday evening last to close because of an outbreak of Covid 19, insisting they open again this morning.
A dozen students have tested positive for the virus in the past number of weeks, however, Health officials did not support the Principal’s and Board of Management’s difficult decision to close the school, last Thursday until January 5th.
Apart from the 12 confirmed cases of the virus in the school, the Claremorris electoral area is currently experiencing a very high level of Covid cases.
Mr Loftus says his efforts to reason with Public Health and the Department of Education and Skills has fallen on deaf ears.
Speaking to Midwest News ahead of this morning’s reopening, he said he will reluctantly re-open today to acknowledge the Department directive but, also respects and fully support the decision of parents to keep their children home until after Christmas holidays
Mayo Sinn Féin TD, Rose Conway-Walsh has expressed deep concern about the lack of clarity and supports from the Department of Education in addressing the challenges presented by the virus in the school.
She has commended the huge collective efforts made by the Board of Management, Principal, teachers, parents association and parents in ensuring the health and wellbeing of children in the Claremorris area is protected.
However, she says removing, the autonomy of all local decision makers without proper consultation is not acceptable.
Speaking to Midwest News this morning the deputy said that this "heavy handed" approach by the Department needs to be replaced with respect and effective local engagement.