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15 May 2008 Edition

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O'Keeffe must reverse directive on immersion teaching

SINN FÉIN mounted a protest at Leinster House on Tuesday evening against Government plans to end Irish-language immersion teaching.
Speaking at the protest, Sinn Féin Education spokesperson Senator Pearse Doherty called on new Education Minister Batt O’Keeffe to reverse plans by  his predecessor, Mary Hanafin, undermining the educational method known in Irish as ‘tuimoideachas’.
Senator Doherty said:
“Education Minister Batt O’Keeffe has an opportunity to reverse the decision by his predecessor Mary Hanafin to end the practice of Irish-language immersion in Gaelscoileanna.
“After months of campaigning by Irish-language groups, teachers and parents to reverse the decision to end early immersion in Gaelscoileanna it had become clear that former Education Minister Mary Hanafin did not want to admit that she was wrong to propose this measure and was stubbornly determined to push it through despite the overwhelming arguments against it.
“Minister O’Keeffe must look at the evidence available and reverse this decision based on an informed decision.”
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