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Uproar over autism unit closure plans

St Mary's National School in Edgeworthstown celebrating World Autism Day. Photo: Michelle Ghee. www.gphotos.ie

St Mary's National School in Edgeworthstown celebrating World Autism Day. Photo: Michelle Ghee. www.gphotos.ie

There is mounting anger in Edgeworthstown over a decision to close a specialist preschool autism unit in the local school.

The announcement, which was recently confirmed by the National Council for Special Education, has led to widespread public anger within the local community.

At a public meeting held last Thursday, a number of people spoke out on the issue. Local TDs James Bannon and Robert Troy were also in attendance.

A number of people who spoke to the Leader this week stongly criticised the anticipated closure of the unit at the end of August.

Patrick Hallinan-McCauley warned he and his partner Sinead would have to seriously consider leaving Longford for good should the closure go ahead.

“At the end of the day, we are trying to make a better future for our kids. It’s not what I want to do, but we may have no choice,” he said.

Meanwhile, principal of St Mary’s NS Helen O’Gorman has sent a letter to Minister of State Ciaran Cannon over the controversy.

 

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