School bus saga condemned

Despite the online portal for school transport reopening recently, children across the country are being left waiting for bus passes, according to Deputy Michael Fitzmaurice.

The independent TD noted that the widespread criticism received by the Department of Education last week led to the reopening of the online portal, which children and parents had been denied access to of late.

“While it is a welcome development that the online portal is reopened and that parents can complete applications for transport where necessary, I have been informed that while payments will be accepted, no bus passes are due to issue.

“It appears as if this is an underhanded tactic by the Department of Education to defer further criticism and scrutiny. If payments are being processed, then those children deserve to be awarded bus passes. We cannot continue in a situation where children are being left on the side of the road.

“Coming from an education background, you would hope that the Minister for Education Norma Foley will soon get a handle on this situation,” Fitzmaurice concluded.

Sinn Féin TD Claire Kerrane called on the government to immediately reopen the school bus transport ticket system.

Responding to growing frustration of parents across the country, Deputy Kerrane said: “The school bus ticket system needs to be reopened immediately. We have a situation where children have no means of getting to school.

“Parents sent in their payment to local offices only to be told that the system was closed and their child will not be allowed on the bus. Segregation of children into concessionary and eligible categories is just appalling and needs to be reversed”.