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Sherkin Island's promised chaperone ‘never happened'

May 9th, 2019 11:50 AM

By Jackie Keogh

Sherkin Island NS closed three years ago

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THE parents of young children living on Sherkin Island may be forced to leave and live on the mainland because a chaperone service for the ferry has not been provided.

Independent TD Michael Collins raised the issue in the Dáil recently and secured an undertaking from the Tánaiste Simon Coveney TD that he would raise the issue with the Minister for Education and see if the situation could be resolved.

After 124 years in existence, the national school on Sherkin closed in the summer of 2016. At the time, Deputy Collins said islanders were given an assurance that a chaperone service would be provided to bring children to school on the mainland, but it never happened.

Without a chaperone, he said, one of the two working parents either has to take a morning off to bring their children across on the ferry, or engage someone else to do it.

Sean O’Neill, the father of ‘three-and-a-half children’ confirmed to The Southern Star that there are, at present, three children from the island attending Rath National School on the mainland.

He said there are three more children living on the island who are not yet of school-going age, along with two expectant mothers.

Mr O’Neill said: ‘We, as a community, need this service because it goes to the viability of life on Sherkin Island, as well as the education of our children, because the situation as it stands is unworkable.’

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