DEAR SIR: My wife, who is a primary school teacher, told me a story recently about one of her pupils who has a learning difficulty.
The school applied for an assistive technology grant on behalf of the child to provide them with a laptop and associated software.
The grant application amounted to €900. It was subsequently rejected by the Department of Education on value for money grounds.
This story came back into my head this week when I read about the decision of An Taisce to appeal the High Court judgment in favour of Glanbia’s cheese plant in Belview.
Minister Eamon Ryan approved €1.764m in funding this year for the Irish Environmental Network, of which An Taisce is one of the largest members. This level of funding could provide 1,960 children across the country with access to technology which, in most cases, would be life-changing.
While this may be a simplistic viewpoint, it highlights the need to put a value on how public money is distributed and in turn redistributed.
The use of public money to create environmental awareness and to advise the Government on policy is certainly valuable.
The use of public money to line the pockets of solicitors, barristers and High Court judges is the polar opposite.
The parents of the primary school child graciously accepted the decision of the Department of Education. An Taisce needs to do likewise.