This is due to the Thurles schools not meeting the strict rule of being the first or second closest school to the Kilcommon area. Deputy Cahill has already written to Bus Éireann and to the Minister for Education on this issue this morning requesting that urgent action be taken to provide an additional school bus for the route.
Speaking on this today, Cahill said: “I have been informed that as of this morning, there are 22 children on the secondary school bus route from Kilcommon to Thurles who have been refused concessionary school bus tickets as Thurles is neither the closest nor the second closest school to the Kilcommon area.
“However, Thurles is the local town for Kilcommon and a majority of all primary school students in the area opt for second level education in Thurles. This is simply how rural life works in this part of Tipperary. Deciding bus ticket allocations based purely on the metric of kilometres from the school does not suit a scenario like this and I believed a more nuanced approached needs to be taken.
“I stated this clearly to Bus Éireann, the Department of Education and Minister Foley this morning. 22 students being left without school transport in rural Ireland is an outrage.
“It is environmental madness to tell 22 families to drive their children to school rather than providing a bus. It will lead to further traffic congestion in Thurles at rush hour each morning and evening, and it will also have a major impact on the lives of busy parents who will now have to try and reschedule their entire days for school runs.
“With an additional demand of 22 students in an area for a school bus, I firmly believe that Bus Éireann has a duty and obligation to run an additional bus on this route to meet this obvious demand locally.”, Cahill concluded.