EDITOR – The National Council for Special Education (NCSE) has taken a decision to close the early intervention class in Kilbrittain National School at the end of this academic year. There are pupils already on the list for a place in September and with the backlog of autism diagnosis due to Covid, the demand is only going to increase.
There have been letters written by senior psychologists to the NCSE stating that by closing this facility it will have a detrimental effect on our children.
As a parent of a child who has additional education needs, to hear that an established and proven EI class is to be closed is beyond heart-breaking and utterly infuriating.
We have to fight from the beginning for our children, make constant calls, send endless emails to try and get what we need for our children.
Why are our children treated with such disrespect? ‘Early intervention’ are the two words we hear from all the professionals and yet now the NCSE want to close a class that does exactly that.
We are their voices and something has to change in our country.
Education is a right of every single child, yet the children who have additional needs are always the ones left behind.
The team at Kilbrittain NS are fighting to have this decision overturned but it is falling on deaf ears.
They all know and recognise the need in our locality for this class to remain open.
The model, it seems, that the NCSE wants is for children who have ASD to attend mainstream Montessori schools. This has been proven countless times not to work for children on the ASD Spectrum.
Our children should not be corralled into a ‘one fits all’ environment.
Here we are again, with a decision made by ‘suits’ who have absolutely no idea what it’s like for our precious children.
They haven’t asked to be classed as neurodiverse, they haven’t chosen to have speech and communication difficulties or sensory issues, or more.
It isn’t their fault, and yet they are the ones being punished by lack of services and by the complete lack of understanding when the very body that is supposed to be helping them is taking a decision like this.
This may not affect some readers now, but given the amount of children that are being diagnosed with ASD, it will knock on everyone’s door at some point, whether it be your child, your grandchild, or your best friend’s child.
Please let us have the facilities locally to help our children reach their full potential.
Skibbereen’s carbon neutral target
EDITOR – Skibbereen’s rowing success on the world stage demonstrates what can be done with talent, know-how and a lot of hard work, but a side effect of all that was a huge lifting of spirits during the pandemic.
As the Covid 19 crisis quietens, there was, and remains, the triple worldwide crisis of global heating, biodiversity loss and pollution. 1
The Net Zero Skibbereen (NZS) scheme has adopted the goals from the 2015 Paris agreement on climate change. Led by Sustainable Skibbereen, and local environmentally-focussed organisations, NZS has committed to making Skibbereen carbon neutral by 2040, with an interim goal of a 50% reduction on energy related emissions by 2030.
Carbon neutral means that no net increase in the release of carbon dioxide with a corresponding reduction in our dependency on the harmful burning of fossil fuels.
The next stage is to develop an energy master plan for the town. To be completed during 2022, this will provide a pathway for the project.
NZS aims to achieve the target by engaging with the community and encouraging everyone to learn about the causes and effects of climate change and to participate in efforts to decarbonise our town.
Continued inaction is potentially catastrophic, with extreme weather effects, rising sea levels, and biodiversity loss.
The hope is to raise as much, if not more, public support for this scheme as the Olympic rowers generated. The rowers themselves would tell you how much their success depended on their support team. NZS is currently building theirs, and invites you on board.
We would like anyone interested in coming on board to contact us at [email protected].
Stop those cowardly thugs and stand up for each other
EDITOR – Every woman has the right to walk jog our streets highways or bye ways unhindered of attack from males.
All political parties must endorse this basic principle.
The brutal and senseless murder of Ashling Murphy and the disgraceful rise of domestic abuse over the past years highlights the need to stop these cowardly thugs and their repulsive behaviours to stop forthwith.
We need to treat women as our equals in our work place, including equal pay and conditions and never abuse them.
We must stand up for each other at all times.
Too many ministers off on their Paddy’s Day ‘junkets’
EDITOR – St Patrick’s Day is almost upon us. Once again Government ministers will travel to various locations around the world. All at the taxpayer’s expense. During a career in excess of 30 years with an international organisation, I lived and worked in more that 20 countries. I can say without question not one of those countries sent a government representative to any outside location to celebrate their national day. In fact, in many cases their ambassadors returned to the capital for the celebrations.
I suggest at a time when many hard working, law bidding citizens are struggling to put food on the table and pay utility bills it is both shameful and disrespectful that our government should send so many people to so many locations, on what best can be describe as a junket. Politicians tell us this travel is in the interests of the country – I say tell that to the parents struggling to feed children.
Michael A Moriarty,