Classifieds Advertise Archive Subscriptions Family Announcements Photos Digital Editions/Apps
Connect with us

News

Schools to seek hike in parents’ ‘voluntary contributions’ despite Minister’s ruling

Published

on

Schools in Galway are facing the perfect storm of a financial crisis as cash-strapped parents baulk at paying so-called ‘voluntary contributions’ – as State funding also dries up. 

Many primary and secondary schools throughout the city and county are putting pressure on parents to pay voluntary contributions – they issue reminder letters directly to parents and in some cases via the children.

The ‘emotional blackmail’ to pay the contribution comes despite warnings from Education Minister Ruairi Quinn that schools can only seek a voluntary contribution once it is made absolutely clear that it is voluntary.

A survey on behalf of ASTI, the teaching union, found that one in four schools planned to increase the amount of money they seek from parents for the voluntary contribution at the beginning of this term.

The survey found that voluntary contributions were hiked in 14% of cases, as schools grapple with reduced funding from the Department of Education – capitation grants per students have reduced from €200 per child to €176 over the past few years.

The reduction in central funding has forced schools to increase the voluntary contribution but as parents struggle to pay the voluntary contribution, schools have to increase other fundraising activities such as cake sales and table quizzes.

Children’s charity Barnardos has called for voluntary contributions to be scrapped. “The time has come to outlaw voluntary contributions entirely because they are intimidating too many parents who are under more than enough pressure already,” said Barnardos CEO Fergus Finlay.

The charity’s comprehensive survey on school costs revealed that voluntary contributions averaged €100 for senior infants, €50 for primary school fourth class pupils and €125 for first year secondary school pupils. The total cost to parents of sending a child to school averaged at €350, €400 and €785 for senior infants, fourth class and first years respectively, the survey found.

For full story see this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune

Progress stalls on setting up Eating Disorder Community Health Team

Published

on

Despite an increasing number of young people experiencing eating disorders, a new specialist community team has yet to be set up in Galway well over a year after it was announced.

The delay is mainly due to a difficulty recruiting a consultant psychiatrist to lead the team, this week’s HSE West Regional Health Forum meeting was told.

Councillor John Connolly (FF) queried the progress on the new Eating Disorder Community Health Team within the Child Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) after the HSE revealed in September 2021 that it would be set up in response to the hike in youths presenting for treatment.

Chief Officer of HSE Community Healthcare West, Breda Crehan-Roche, said interviews had been conducted to recruit a clinical lead, but so far none had been appointed. Six other staff had been appointed and these had been assigned to existing teams within CAMHS while a psychiatrist could come on board to manage the team.

“We have difficulty getting locum cover. Interviews were held. It’s a priority. We are doing a running recruitment process,” she told this month’s meeting.

It took between six and nine months to appoint a person to such a senior post.

“There is a lot of work in specialist intervention in the eating disorders team.”

She admitted that there were no records of how much of an increase there had been in referrals to CAMHS Galway for youths troubled by an eating disorder as all records were on paper rather than on computer.

“I can’t ask clinicians and therapists to pull together manual figures,” she stated. But the indication from staff on the ground was that there had been a downward trend in referrals post-Covid.

There was a move to keeping digital records by the middle of next year.

Continue Reading

Connacht Tribune

Retired Bishop of Galway Martin Drennan dies aged 78

Published

on

Retired Bishop of Galway Martin Drennan has passed away at the age of 78.

Born in Kilkenny in 1944, Bishop Drennan studied for the priesthood at St Patrick’s College, Maynooth from where he was ordained in 1968

As a priest, the then Fr Drennan served as curate in both St. Mary’s Cathedral Parish in Kilkenny and then in Ballycallan.

From 1975 he taught Sacred Scripture at St. Kieran’s College, returning to Rome in 1980 to become Spiritual Director at the Irish College there for the next five years.

When Fr. Martin again returned home he became a Lecturer in Sacred Scripture at St. Patrick’s College, Maynooth where he continued to teach until his appointment as Auxiliary Bishop of Dublin in 1997.

Following the retirement of Bishop James McLoughlin, Bishop Drennan was chosen as Bishop of Galway and Kilmacduagh and Apostolic Administrator of Kilfenora and was installed on 3rd July 2005 in Galway Cathedral serving to his retirement in 2016.

A brief statement released by the Diocese of Galway this afternoon confirmed his passing and offered their sympathies to Bishop Drennan’s family and all those who mourn his loss.

Funeral arrangements for the late Bishop Drennan will be announced later

Continue Reading

Connacht Tribune

Gardaí appeal for help to locate missing man

Published

on

Gardaí are seeking help from the public in locating a 66-year-old man who has been missing from Clonbur since Thursday.

Michael Harte is described as being 5’ 9” in height, of slim build with short grey hair. When last seen, he was wearing blue jeans, a blue jumper, a tan / khaki padded jacket and tan boots.

He is understood to have access to a black Renault Megane with a 02 C registration.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Clifden Garda Station on 095 2250,  the Garda confidential line on 1800 666111 or any Garda station.

Continue Reading

Local Ads

Local Ads

Advertisement
Advertisement

Facebook

Advertisement

Trending