Politics and schools don’t mix?

According to today’s Irish News, there’s small controversy (subs needed) breaking out in a rural community in Fermanagh. After Sinn Fein councillor Thomas O’Reilly “wrote to the parents of around 20 pupils at a rural Co Fermanagh school last month pointing out a police presence at a safety roadshow in Enniskillen”.The move was challenged by SDLP MLA Tommy Gallagher:

“How exactly was Sinn Fein able to identify the parents of the children who attended the event?” asked SDLP assembly member Tommy Gallagher.

Mr Gallagher claimed that Mr O’Reilly, a member of the Western Education and Library Board, was guilty of “unscrupulous and unethical behaviour”.

“It was organised by all of the agencies with responsibility for road safety and was attended by about 1200 young people,” he said.

“Thomas O’Reilly is completely wrong in attempting to introduce Sinn Fein’s agenda into a school situation,” he said.

“Parents are well able to make up their own minds without getting letters from Sinn Fein which many of them will see as intimidating.”

O’Reilly responded:

“In a small rural area such as this school, as in where you are only talking about a small number of young people, you have no difficulty knowing who the young people involved were. There was no need to go looking for names and addresses.”