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Cork East Fine Gael TD, David Stanton, has written to the Minister for Education, Norma Foley TD, asking her to designate Carrigtwohill and Midleton as a single Education Centre for the purposes of school transport.

David Stanton said: “Every year for the past number of years we have experienced long waiting lists for first year school places in East Cork especially in Carrigtwohill and in Midleton. Each year up to now, the matter was resolved due to the hard work of the school principals and their staff with the support of the Cork Education and Training Board and the Department of Education. However, this year we have experienced exceptionally long waiting lists.

“Despite the best efforts of all concerned, these lists did not begin to significantly reduce until it became clear that duplication of applications was not the main issue but rather a shortage of places, which has now for the vast majority, been resolved. However, I am concerned that some students may still be without an offer of a school place even at this stage.

“Such a situation has subsequently resulted in the emergence of another issue. When offers were finally made to students many of them were from schools that were not the nearest school and the matter of transport to these schools now arises.

“Being recognised as having eligibility to a bus ticket to a school which is not the nearest school is challenging to say the least. I can understand that parents, who had waited all year for a school place and were fearful of not getting any place, were only too glad to accept an offer when it finally came even though it may not have been the first choice or the nearest school. Transportation to these schools is now their main concern. “Accordingly, I have written to the Minister for Education in order to highlight the issue and I will be raising the matter in the Dáil at the first opportunity”, concluded David Stanton.