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Michael Ryan, Limerick Republican Sinn Féin
September 6, 2004

The charging of a hundred euro for school heating to parents living in large housing estates where many are on low pay is creating a new "educational apartheid" the Limerick branch of Republican Sinn Féin stated today.

RSF spokesman Michael Ryan said that parents are already under enough financial strain from new uniforms and books without the education system imposing additional demands for money.

"The fact is that parents have already forked out hundreds of euro for new books and uniforms," said Mr. Ryan. "This demand for payments for school heating is the latest twist in extracting cash from hard pressed parents.

"In places like Ballynanty, Kileely and Moyross many parents are struggling to do their best for their children without the schools imposing these additional financial demands for heating.

"The schools are closed for the summer months so no heating is required but surely the State should adequately finance the schools without this 'educational blackmail' being levied on parents.

"It is a bit much to expect parents to pay for school heating when the politicians continually praise the high standards of Irish education. These escalating financial demands are creating a new 'educational apartheid' in estates where many parents are on low pay or working in basic community job schemes."

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