Ruane denounces “gutter journalism”

Catriona Ruane has reacted angrily to the revelation in the Irish News that she took her daughter to Cypress during school term time.

Ms Ruane said it was gutter journalism and a “dreadful attack” on her family.
She said she paid for her daughter to go with her and private matters should not be brought into “political battles”.
“I will make decisions in relation to my family,” she said. “I’m a mother and I’m a minister.”
Ms Ruane said she was in Cyprus on official business, speaking about the peace process and education in Ireland “and the lessons that Cyprus can learn”.
In a later statement she added: “My decision was dictated by private and personal matters and in the best interest of my daughter.
“I am happy that my decision was both responsible and correct.”

Mervyn Storey, who chairs the education committee at the Northern Ireland Assembly, criticised Ms Ruane.
“I think this is another example of how the minister sets a standard for others, but is not prepared to live by the rules herself.”

Basil McCrea, the Ulster Unionist education spokesman, said as minister, Ms Ruane advised other parents not to take their children out of school during term time.
“There is an issue for people in public life that if you do one thing and say another, it worries people.”

However, Brendan Harron, from the INTO, said each decision must be judged on merit.
“Attendance at school is crucial – there’s a clear link between attendance and achievement – but every individual case must be looked at on its merits,” he said.
“A parent makes a decision – I don’t think any parent makes a decision to in any way inflict damage on a child’s education.”

  • Danny O’Connor

    Nevin,I may be wrong about the 4 meetings a year ,it may actually be 2 meetings a year. If you do not attend for 6 months I think you could lose your seat.
    Larne meets in plenary possibly 15 or 16 times,
    12 x monthly meetings
    1 x AGM
    1 or 2 x Rates
    special meetings as required.

    there are 4 standing committees with delegated powers ,of which evvery councillor is a member, they meet monthly fom September to June.any urgent committee work in the summer goes on the council agenda.
    there are a number of sub committees and ad hoc committees which report to the standing committees.

    As for who sets the bar so low I can only assume that it is the DOE.

    As far as I know,there is no minimum attendance at the assembly once you have signed the book and stated whether you are nationalist unionist or other.

    I think it is the same in the house of commons,once you are sworn in you are a member and entitled to all the gravy, oooops ,I meant salary and allowances.

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  • Big Maggie

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  • Rory Carr

    And so say all of us.

  • AdamsandLoughgall

    The Irish News was unfair to Catriona in that the issue was not about expenses. It was the taking the child out of school that rightly raises eyebrows.

    The big issue however was Middletown. the Irish Government deliberately pulled the plug because Catriona had made it confrontational (North and South of the border during an election campaign when FF is under huge pressure) – and they wanted to teach her a lesson. If she had gone about things the right way Middletown would be getting the new Centre and Dublin would have pruned elsewhere.

    And that is the real issue with Catriona: She only offers a confrontational and ideologically driven approach to politics and government.It has to be a war or a ‘struggle’. there has to be a them and us. Like Arsenal she has no Plan B and eventually this is going to cost her.