Tag: Personal

Access to education in Ireland for non-Catholics

Piaras Kelly has a post on his blog about multi-culturism in Ireland and he raises some interesting issues.

He references a situation which hit the headlines here recently when children of non-Catholic parents were unable to access school places for their children.

I was appalled last week to read the comments of Anne McDonagh, director of education at the Archdiocese of Dublin, who stated that the Archdiocese is not interested in providing an education for children of parents who are not interested in a Catholic education. Speaking to the Irish Times (subscription required), McDonagh said “We must stick to our enrolment policy of providing an education for Catholic children and siblings first. This enrolment policy has been public and unchanged since the Education Act 1998.” The comments came in the wake of an emergency school being built for 90 children who were unable to secure places in catholic schools.

While I agree with Piaras’ outrage at this situation, I think his anger is mis-directed.

The problem here is that successive Irish Governments have abdicated responsibility for educating the states children. They were happy to let the Catholic church educate the children because it saved the state a fortune!

And we now have the anomalous situation where the Dept of Education doesn’t employ any teachers! All teachers are employed by the individual school’s further avoiding any financial liabilities for the state if the teachers mis-behave.

As a result of this fiasco, the Catholic church stepped in and now run 90% of the schools in the country. This is something we should be grateful to the Catholic church for (and angry with the government for!).

The Catholic church has no mandate to teach children of non-Catholic parents – no more than we would expect a Buddhist school to be mandated to accept Catholic kids.

The education of children in Ireland is the State’s responsibility. If there are not enough non-denominational places in Irish schools, it is only because the state hasn’t provided them.

The running of the schools in Ireland by the Catholic church is an anachronism.

The Department of Education needs to face up to its responsibilities and take over the running our schools (it is the norm in every other country) and not leave it up to the church or any other organisation. This is not just my opinion, the UN has been telling the Irish Government this for at least two years now.

Senior telecoms architect for hire

I don’t normally do this kind of thing but I am making an exception in this case.

My brother-in-law has recently started looking for a new job. He’s an extremely high-powered telecoms guy, currently based in the US.

From his cv, his career highlights include:

  • Management of telecom technology development, deployment and operations teams with up to 50+ staff and cost centers with yearly budgets of up to $40M
  • Successfully managed development & deployment of 30+ products & technologies
  • Worked in both vendor & operator environments, with both startup & growth organizations
  • Combined SS7 signaling networks of three ATT divisions, saving 10’s of millions of dollars

his professional experience includes roles such as:

  • Director of Architecture, Design and Planning – Managed Services Division
  • Senior Director and Chief Architect of Multi Media Division and
  • Sr. Dir. of Network Technology Development and Architecture

and accomplishments include:

  • Direct the design, planning and life cycle management aspects of the hosted and managed services from multiple Geo diverse Data Centers
  • Managed two directors and a team of senior architects. Led the overall technology architecture & QE activities for the wireless data, messaging & enhanced voice services for the consumer & enterprise segments and
  • Directed several Sr. managers and was instrumental in the formation of the Multimedia division. Led software development, testing and deployment of the J2EE based mMode / wireless portal and related data, messaging and location based applications

So, if you know anyone who could benefit from talking to my brother-in-law, drop me a mail at tom@tomrafteryit.net and I can arrange an intro.

Printer recommendations?

My dad needs a printer for his computer and I have no idea what to tell him to get!

His needs are very basic – he will only be printing out the odd web page and email. No photo quality needed. No scanner needed.

A simple printer which won’t burn a hole in his pocket every time he has to replace the inkjet cartridges.

I rang Cartridge World to ask them which printer has the cheapest replacement cartridges and they said the Canon ip300 sounded like it would fit the bill.

Anyone else want to make a recommendation?

Back again

Well, I am back after the break in the sun. Had a great break. Offline most of the time but couldn’t resist the odd bit of browsing from my phone!!!

It was a bit of a shock to the system to be in Ronda, in temperatures of 46C (115F) on Saturday and then land in Cork on Sunday to temperatures of 16C (61F)!

A big thanks to my blogsitter, FrankP for so ably looking after the blog in my absence. Frank made sure all legitimate comments on the site were published (a not inconsiderable task) and went even further to even publish a few posts. Thanks a million Frank. I’m afraid you may have earned the right to do so again next time I am away!!!

Ok, back to it…

Welcome Frankp – my blogsitter

I’m off on a three week house-swap holiday tomorrow morning bright and early with the family (if I remember to bring the right passports this time!).

In my absence I have asked good friend FrankP to look after the blog for me (to free up comments which have ended up moderated or in the Akismet queue inadvertantly).

I have also told Frank to feel free to go ahead and put up a few posts if he feels so inclined but as Frank already posts on Bifsniff.com and has a day job, he may not find time to do so.

In any case, I’m delighted Frank agreed to babysit the blog for me. I can head off now knowing the blog is in safe hands.

Thanks Frank.