Aontú leader Peadar Tóibín TD has called on Labour Party TD Aodhán Ó Riordáin to produce the evidence for his ‘bizarre’ suggestion that single sex schools lead to domestic violence.
Deputy Tóibín said:
“Domestic violence or abuse can happen to anyone. It is an insidious crime that causes shocking damage and pain in society. We, as a society need to do all we can to root it out and bring it to an end. We know from statistics that instances of domestic violence have increased during the pandemic. It is a very important issue, and I’d again like to remind any person experiencing domestic violence that they are exempt from the restrictions. If you are a victim of domestic violence seek help and support”.
This week the Labour Party in the Dáil made an astonishing suggestion that single sex schools lead to instances of domestic violence in the future. Deputy Ó Riordáin made the claim without producing a screed of evidence. This serious issue should not be used by members of the Oireachtas for political point scoring. It is important that we remain sensitive when speaking on this issue and get all of our facts correct.”
I think the suggestion that single sex schools lead to an increase in domestic violence was astonishing, and I do think that the Labour Party need to offer clarity here – where is their evidence for this claim? There may well be pros and cons to different education provision. We should debate those without impugning the name of hundreds of schools and thousands of teachers. Many people in this country attended single sex schools, is the Labour Party suggesting that these people are more likely to be violent and abuse their partners? Deputy O Riordáin presents himself as a champion of diversity and pluralism. Does he not think that parents and students should have diversity and pluralism in their choice of school? Debate in the Dáil is debased by wild evidence free allegations such as this, concluded Deputy Tóibín.