Josepha Madigan apologises for "insensitive" comment about "normal children"
"I sincerely apologise for my language. It is absolutely not what I meant to say."
Minister of State with responsibility for Special Education Josepha Madigan has apologised for her comments describing children who do not have additional education needs as "normal".
This comes after Madigan said in the Dáil on Thursday: "We all know that even for normal children remote teaching is difficult, but for children who have additional needs it is particularly difficult."
She was discussing the fact that schools and classes for children with special educational needs will reopen next Thursday after being closed since before Christmas.
In response to widespread criticism on social media, Madigan tweeted: "I sincerely apologise for my language. It is absolutely not what I meant to say. Looking forward to continued cooperation into the future."
The apology came after many online pointed out that somebody with Madigan's job title should be more careful with the language used to describe children.
Speaking in the Dáil on Thursday, Madigan paid tribute to all parties involved in reopening schools and classes for children with special educational needs
She said: "This is a really positive development and obviously we have logistical issues that we need to sort out but I share my thanks to the education partners and to Minister Foley for all the work that has been done today."