Megaphone teacher has no regrets

The teacher who used a megaphone to disrupt the Education Minister's address at the ASTI conference said today that he has no regrets.

The incident happened during Ruairi Quinn's speech at the Association of Secondary Teachers in Ireland meeting in Wexford yesterday.

The ASTI General Secretary Pat King condemned the heckling, jeering and laughing by some delegates during the address.

However Andrew Phelan, a teacher in Lucan in Dublin, is standing by his decision to use a megaphone to interrupt the Minister.

"The reason we brought the megaphone in is because in previous years when people had tried to voice their opinion and their objection to the Minister and some of the stuff he was saying, all he did was speak louder through the microphone and speak down to people and overshadow people," he said.

"So I said: 'I'm going to bring a megaphone and he won't be able to do that to us this time'."

Minister Quinn said today that he accepts the apology offered by Mr King.

"I'm a politician, we engage in robust discussion," said the Minister.

"I was invited to speak and I tried to speak and I delivered my speech - it was difficult quite frankly - but this is a matter for the ASTI.

"I heard Pat King on the radio this morning, and what he said I can confirm - he did come to me immediately after the end of session yesterday and apologised personally to me, and I accept that."

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