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Tag Archives: Seán McMahon

INTO honour ‘legend’ Maureen Cronin

‘LEGEND’ Maureen Cronin was given two standing ovations by delegates at the annual INTO Congress when the 99-year-old was honoured for defying the marriage ban and working for a year without pay in Mountcollins National School, County Limerick. Kerry-born, Maureen  taught for many years before marrying in 1950 and immediately came under the marriage ban. However, Maureen continued to work for almost a year before being told if she continued she would be removed by the gardaí. Maureen subsequently worked in temporary jobs before taking up a permanent job in a private school in Castlecomer. She moved to Rockchapel, County Cork after the ban was lifted in 1958 and has resided in Ennis in her retirement. The appreciative audience of INTO delegates welcomed Maureen when INTO president Sean McMahon told them ” a legend has entered the room” and during his speech showed their appreciation with two standing ovations. Maureen told The Clare Champion that she never expected to receive the reception she got …

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Teachers to descend on Ennis

INTO national president, Seán McMahon, is set to welcome up to 1,500 delegates and guests to Treacys West County Hotel in Ennis next Monday morning, at the start of the three-day primary school teachers 147th annual conference. The huge attendance is expected to bring a financial spin-off worth millions of euro to the local hospitality and retail sectors. The Mullagh National School principal is delighted that the Irish National Teachers Organisation’s conference is back in the capital town of his native county after a long absence. “It’s two decades since it was held here and I’m informed by those who were here at the time that it was a very positive experience, so I’m looking forward to next week,” he said. “I’m pleased to see also that the ICTU conference is here in Ennis in July and I would very much hope that the other education conferences will come to Ennis in future years and that it won’t be as …

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Northern education minister to attend INTO conference

Minister for Education in Northern Ireland, John O Dowd is to address the INTO conference in Ennis in April, is has been confirmed. He will speak on Tuesday, April 7 following the address of the Minister for Education and Skills Jan O’Sullivan. The INTO general secretary, Sheila Nunan will respond to both ministers on behalf of approximately 850 delegates, representing 33,000 primary teachers in the south and 7,000 teachers in the north, at Treacys West County Hotel. The Conference will be addressed at its opening session on the previous day by INTO president, Sean McMahon from Mullagh and and Tom Healy, director of the Nevin Economic Research Institute (NERI). Tom has previously worked in the Economic and Social Research Institute, the Northern Ireland Economic Research Centre, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, the National Economic and Social Forum and the Department of Education and Skills.

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Reprieve for small primary schools

SMALL primary schools facing the threat of losing a teacher due to falling numbers have been given some breathing space this week, as a result of a decision by Education Minister Jan O’Sullivan. Affecting schools mainly in rural parishes, new retention regulations will give a slightly improved pupil/teacher ratio in two to four-teacher school scenarios. Nationally, close on 60% of primary schools have four teachers or less. Minister O’Sullivan revealed that the new retention schedule for the 2015/16 school year will be 19 pupils, rather than 20, to retain a second teacher; 53 pupils, rather than 56, to retain a third teacher and 83 pupils, rather than 86, to retain a fourth teacher. While generally supportive of the decision to reduce the number of pupils required to retain teachers in small schools, Labasheeda National School principal, Liam Woulfe, said the change “will not greatly aid two-teacher schools”. Following two appeals, Labasheeda was able to show that it had the required …

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INTO president lauds Mullagh’s Active School efforts

Mullagh National School pupils are winning the obesity battle, thanks to the use of state-of-the-art facilities, as part of its commitment to lead an active, healthy lifestyle. That’s according to INTO president, Seán McMahon, who returned to his own school to raise the Active Schools’ Flag in his first official function since becoming president. Mr McMahon described this national education programme as one of the most important initiatives currently available to schools, particularly in the context of statistics indicating that over 100,000 Irish pupils are considered to be obese. Speaking at a recent Early Childhood Ireland Conference, Dr Catherine Woods revealed that research indicates only 19% of children are meeting their recommended daily level of exercise. Even more frightening is the trend towards obesity within the overall Irish population, with forecasts of 50% being obese by 2020. While the INTO regularly call on the government to provide additional physical education funding, Mr McMahon said Mullagh National School is way ahead …

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Ennis schoolchildren swot up on their entrepreneurial skills

IS THERE a budding Denis O’Brien lurking in a fifth or sixth class in the Banner County? Starting next school term, the answer will be revealed, when a unique initiative, aimed at identifying and nurturing entrepreneurs in Clare over the next two school years, is introduced to the county. The venture, which will help identify the Clare entrepreneurs of tomorrow through a programme delivered in primary school classrooms, was launched in the county this week. The Junior Entrepreneurial Programme (JEP) for primary schoolchildren in Clare will offer teachers and students the opportunity to learn about entrepreneurship and take part in practical exercises, designed to complement their creative thinking, problem-solving, presentation, writing and teamwork. The programme is designed to help children discover their own strengths and skills and encourage them to develop creativity and money management. Former Ennis National School teacher, Tom Glynn will co-ordinate the JEP in Clare over the coming weeks and months. He is excited at the prospect …

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Department of Education rejects ‘offensive’ SNA circular claim

By Dan Danaher THE full implementation of an “offensive” Department of Education circular will result in a reduction in special needs assistants (SNAs) for Clare children with disabilities, a local election candidate has claimed. Clare Crusaders’ Clinic managing director, Ann Norton has described the recent DOE instruction to schools on the SNA scheme as “offensive”, “outrageous” and “disgraceful” to parents of children with special needs. Ms Norton warned that implementing this circular would result in the withdrawl of numerous SNAs in Clare schools, unless the DOE withdrew it. However, her assertion was rejected by a DOE spokeswoman who stated there is no question of reducing the number of SNA posts in the school system. In fact, the spokeswoman outlined the department had increased the number of SNAs to its highest level yet with 10,656 Whole Time Equivalent posts currently allocated to schools. In December, 2013 the Government announced it was increasing the number of SNAs available for allocation to schools, …

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Mullagh School Principal is new INTO President

THE new President of the Irish National Teachers’ Organisation is Sean McMahon, principal of Mullagh National School. He was presented with the president’s chain of office at the union’s annual Congress in Kilkenny on Wednesday. Mr McMahon attended primary school in Coore National School and completed his secondary education in C.B.S. Ennistymon. He then attended Mary Immaculate College of Education in Limerick, graduating as a primary teacher in 1979. He worked in a number of different roles as a primary teacher. His teaching career began in 1979 in Rathdowney Boys’ National School, Co Laois teaching fifth class boys. In 1980 he moved to Annagh National School in Miltown Malbay teaching third to sixth class, in what was then a two teacher school. This marked the beginning of years of campaigning for more support for small rural schools. During his teaching career, Sean attended University College Galway for three years graduating with a Master’s degree in Rural and Community Development in …

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