Then later, in the same section, Henry McDonald (who is always annoying, and who doesn't seem to realise that as the paper's chief Irish correspondent he might like to write about the large section of the island that is not Northern Ireland once in a while) writes about the standard of living in Dublin, and interviews a Dutch man who is moving to Belfast because Dublin is so expensive. Fair enough, of course, but then the interviewee says:
"If you want a good school in Dublin you have to pay thousands of pounds per year, while in the North it is free. Lots of my friends in the South feel exactly the same.'"
So Mr Loopmans, by "the North", do you mean "North Dublin"? Because if you want a decent state school, just move to Drumcondra. I'm fed up with this offensive myth that to get a decent education in Dublin you've got to pay for it. Yes, on the southside, many of the good schools are feepaying (although of course, there are good state schools there too). But the northside contains just one prominent feepaying schools, and that's Belvedere, in the inner city. Many of the schools on the southside (and Belvedere) which stayed feepaying did so partly because of parental snobbery, while their equally middle-class counterparts on the northside apparently didn't care so much about the social cachet of paying several grand a year so their kid can be on a poncey rugby team. My school, like barsine's and alices's schools, were all once feepaying, and could have remained so, but they didn't. When I was a kid I had a choice of at least three excellent state secondary schools within walking distance of my house, and a short bus ride would have given me access to several more (including barsine's former educational establishment)*. All my schoolfriends and indeed most of my year went to good universities (two of my classmates - not just my year, but my class - got Schol when we went to Trinity) and we did so without paying for a secondary education. And we did Latin, too!
In conclusion: you're wrong, Mr Loopmans, you snobby wanker. And you would have found this out if you'd, I dunno, ever met someone from Raheny.
* The fact that the majority of these schools were nominally Catholic is another matter, of course, but so are the majority of schools on the southside.