[Sinn Fein]

19th May 2003

Former Ministers letters are further evidence of Government con job to get re-elected - Crowe

Sinn Fein Spokesperson on Education, Seán Crowe has described the revelations that former Minister for Education Michael Woods misled schools, parents and students across the country as a further evidence of the ``con job'' the Government operated to get re-elected.

The Dublin South-West TD said: ``The correspondence released under the Freedom of Information act exposes the calculated con job employed by this Government to ensure its re-election.

``Fianna Fáil TDs around the country were given `good news' letters to support their election campaigns. In my own constituency the staff, students and their parents at St. Killians and Fir House Community College were just some of the victims of these `good news' letters. The Minister deliberately set about ensuring his staff spun misleading announcements about the school building programme for the short-term political benefit of his own party. It is typical of the everyday petty abuse of their powers by Government Ministers to ensure their continued squatting in office.

``There is a rising tide of anger and frustration at the actions of this Government who have manifestly ignored their pre-election commitments on not only education but on housing and healthcare as well. And rather than engaging as they have today in another around of `spinning' in an effort to get themselves off the hook their time and energies would be better spent trying to live up to some of those commitments and promises.'' ENDS

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