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13 June 2024  

Launch of Education Matters Yearbook



Wednesday 13 December 2016, – National University of Ireland

On Wednesday, 13th December 2016, Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton, TD, launched the 10th edition of the Education Matters Yearbook in the National University of Ireland. Edited by Guidance Counsellor, columnist and broadcaster, Brian Mooney, the yearbook looks to cover the entire spectrum of education in the State. At the launch, Mr Mooney emphasised how the 2016 yearbook is forward-looking and focuses on the future of education in Ireland. It records and analyses the key current successes in education at all levels. Contributors to the 2016/17 edition include Prof John Coolahan, Prof Brian MacCraith and Peter Cassells.

The NUI Chancellor Dr Maurice Manning opened proceedings by saying that the that NUI finds Education Matters ‘ a very useful work of reference for the whole of the Irish education system,’ and thus has been happy to continue sponsorship of the publication for the past five years.

Speaking at the launch, Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton, TD thanked Brian Mooney for his work on the annual Education Matters Yearbook which, he said, ‘pulls together thinking about education […] and gives people a chance to consider the challenges that lie ahead’. Minister Bruton went on to recall George Bernard Shaw’s quote, ‘We are made wise not by the recollection of our past, but by the responsibility for our future.’ Speaking of education in Ireland he said, ‘we can reflect on a great past, we can look around and see great acheivement, but we really have to take heart that we have to build something that can stand out as being the best in Europe and that is the way we will fulfill our many ambitions […] in the very diverse parts of life that education can touch.’


NUI Chancellor Dr Manning said that Education Matters ‘provides an overview of the whole Irish education system that is both informative and thought provoking. It reflects the many challenges faced by the system but also the progress and the successes that can be pointed to in a system of which we are proud and in which we have confidence.’

Speaking about the funding of higher education, Dr Manning made particular reference to the Cassells Report which he said, has ‘articulated well the crying need of the sector for increased financial investment. While there are hard decisions to be made, I think the need for additional funding has been accepted by Government, if the initial response in this year’s budget has been measured.’ He expressed the hope that as the Irish economy continues to improve ‘the government response to the needs of higher education will be based on a full appreciation of the sector’s handsome contribution to Irish life and society, economically, socially and culturally.’

Referring to this year’s commemorations of 1916 rising, the Chancellor also referred to John Coolahan’s piece in Education Matters on Patrick Pearse as an educator. Dr Manning said that Pearse’s approach to education ‘was child centred […] His prospectuses for St Enda’s reflect an enlightened philosophy and humane view of education. […] I think Pearse would have approved of the school environment children experience in Ireland today. It’s certainly a kinder place than it would typically have been for the children of 1916. And maybe that too is part of Pearse’s enduring legacy.’

Dr Manning finished by congratulating Brian Mooney, the editorial board and all on the team of the 2016/17 edition of Education Matters saying that he hoped it would ‘stimulate increased engagement with Irish education, and plenty of dialogue on how its problems can be addressed and its future directions best shaped.’

Also present at the launch was President of Dublin City University, Professor Brian MacCraith and Director of the Irish Research Council, Dr Eucharia Meehan.

The Yearbook is available to purchase from http://educationmatters.ie/