Councillor Tomás Sharkey has expressed his satisfaction with the divestment of Faughart National School to Louth & Meath Education and Training Board.
“On behalf of all LMETB members, I wish to state how proud we are to become the new patrons of the primary school in Faughart County Louth.
“Faughart National School has had a difficult few years. Families chose to move their children to other areas for a variety of reasons. The causes may not be fully addressed but a way forward has been found. I am now asking that all families seize the news that LMETB will be the new patrons and register their children once again in the local school. The past is over and the future will be a good one.
“By becoming an LMETB school, Faughart is joining a team of 22 schools and one of the biggest employers in the region.
“We are proud of the education that we offer in our many but mostly second level schools across the two counties. Our Chief Executive Martin O’Brien is no stranger to North Louth. He led Bush Post Primary School as principal when I was a teacher there. Director of Schools Fiona Kindlon also put a lot of work into the proposal to become patrons of the school.
“September will see a new Community National School in Faughart and the opening of Colásite Chú Chulainn in Dundalk. Education is our greatest asset in this region. It is a proud time to be chairperson of LMETB.”
Louth County Councillor Tomás Sharkey has been elected the chairman of Louth & Meath Education and Training Board.
Councillor Sharkey is a teacher and school principal and has been involved in the board and Louth VEC since the 2004 local elections.
Speaking after his appointment, Cllr Sharkey said “LMETB is a proud organisation. We lead the way in education in our two counties. Learners attend our 18 Post Primary schools and one Primary school. We are also responsible responsible for an extensive range of Adult Services throughout both counties, including Adult Learning Services, Community Education, Back to Education Initiative, VTOS and Adult Guidance. There are 8 Youthreach centres spread across the two counties. Since July 1st 2014 Dundalk Regional Skills & Training Centre is under the governance of LMETB, having been transferred from SOLAS on that date. LMETB is patron to 6 Community Schools.
“It is an honour to held lead this organisation in partnership with all board members and staff. Education and training are vital for the future promotion of economic and social development in the region.”
An outraged Sharkey said “at a recent meeting of LMETB, I was shocked to hear that there is a €1million shortfall in funding for local schools. The CEO, Peter Kierans told us that there may not be money for light and heat by October.
“But to add to the ridiculous situation in the ETB, I learned that there is a proposal to spend €100,000 refurbishing old prefabs in Drogheda and then to transfer administration staff from Chapel Street in Dundalk to work in them.
“It is a nonsense in this day and age to waste public money on old prefabs and moving public servants. The ETB is a huge employer and this move will send Human Resources and Payroll functions to prefabricated units in the back yard of a secondary school. I was shocked to learn that the ETB management have not discussed the proposal with planning staff in the local council as there would be a change of use, additional car parking and a significant traffic impact on the Drogheda site.
“I was shocked to learn that the CEO shared his proposal with only one Oireachtas member for Louth and refuses to share the document with board members like myself.
“It appears to me that the good working environment of staff in Dundalk and the taxpayers money are to be sacrificed for the sake of giving Ged Nash TD a political boost when seeking re-election as a Labour Party candidate.”