An open letter by Margaret Kennedy, a campaigner for integrated education in Northern Ireland, and a founding member and former chairwoman of ACT (All Children Together, which led to the establishment of the first planned integrated over school thirty years ago)
As parties urgently discuss the Stormont budget crisis, it is vital to remind politicians, policy makers and especially the public that duplication of services in Northern Ireland is costing in excess of a billion pounds each year.
The figure was arrived at by Deloitte in a study of the cost of maintaining separate education, housing and other facilities to the two communities in Northern Ireland.
How does the continuation of this segregation contribute in any way to a “shared future” or to “building a united community” — on the other hand, how does the waste of resources add to the current problems? The profligate separation certainly adds nothing to the credibility of our political class in terms of economic management — but perhaps both unionist and nationalist parties find this division advantageous in maintaining their tribal vote. (more…)