With the Northern Ireland Commission for Catholic Education approving the use of academic selection by Catholic grammar schools, in the absence of a regulated system of post-primary transfer, the NI Education Minister, Sinn Féin’s Cáitríona Ruane, was unusually keen to be first into the Stormont Live studio to point out that the Catholic Church still wanted to see an end to academic selection. As she’s, apparently, still ignoring the political reality that conversation is below the fold. Also on the programme, the SDLP’s Dominic Bradley noted a rider on the bishop’s statement promising more detailed commentary on the proposals later and the UUP’s Basil McCrea made the following observation.
“I think it’s classic Sinn Féin negotiating tactics, if you like. It’s just get dug into the trench and refuse to move on anything. Maybe at the eleventh hour there’ll be a deal done. Actually, I think education is too complicated to do that and, unlike other times, Sinn Féin are not negotiating with the government, they’re negotiating with the people. And Gerry Adams has got a lot to answer for because he put this woman in here, he’s sticking by her. It’s his failure of leadership just as much as her’s.”
And here is the Northern Ireland Education Minister, Sinn Féin’s Cáitríona Ruane, on Stormont Live.