Ireland’s Eye, a roundup of top news stories September 18th, 2013


With the rise of primary school enrollments, average class sizes are increasing almost everywhere in Ireland and children in areas of rapid population growth are among the worst affected. Boom areas on the outskirts of Dublin and neighboring counties along with counties Cork and Waterford area also badly affected.

In contrast, class sizes are generally stable, or falling, in many rural areas and in cities, reflecting trends in population.

The average class size rose to 24.7 in 2012-‘13, up from 24.5 the previous year. It compares with an EU average of 20.

However, the slight increase in the national average masks a shocking jump in the number of pupils in classes of 30 or more, the precise impact of which depends on where a family lives.

Primary pupils in Wicklow and Limerick counties are almost twice as likely to be squeezed into a class of 30 or more, when compared with those in the largely rural Cavan and Roscommon, where the rate is 16.2 percent.
- Bray People

Family Thief

A man who stole money from his cousin’s birthday party has been jailed for five months.
David Gerard McCloskey of Creggan Heights pleaded guilty to two charges of handling property stolen in the Republic of Ireland on June 7.

Derry Magistrates Court heard £295 and €60 were reported missing from the birthday party in Buncrana which he had attended.  The 23-year-old was arrested in relation to motoring offenses later that day and a quantity of sterling and euro were found in his possession.

Defense solicitor Seamus Quigley said his client found the money outside where the birthday party was being held. However, he made “no enquiries about it whatsoever.”
It was revealed McCloskey has a record for dishonesty.

Judge Barney McElholm said, “When I had heard he took this money from a birthday party I wondered how low can you go - then I learn it was his cousin’s birthday party”.
- Derry Journal

Tackling Bullying

Minister for Education Ruairi Quinn has announced that €40,000 is to be provided to support anti-bullying training sessions for parents.

Around 70 sessions will take place between now and the end of the year.

The training program is being developed as part of the Action Plan on Bullying.  It will be run by the National Parents Council.

It aims to educate parents about anti-bullying procedures in schools and about how to teach their children to manage relationships, be resilient and to have empathy for others.
Quinn has urged parents to take the time to attend the training sessions.

"The procedures give a great opportunity to reinvigorate and strengthen our approach to preventing and tackling bullying in schools,” he said.

The sessions will last for two-and-a-half hours at various locations across the country.
- RTE News