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12th Oct 2023

Tommy Bowe praised by viewers for grilling of Education Minister

Simon Kelly

Tommy Bowe

“We’re not talking about that.”

Ireland AM host Tommy Bowe has received praise by viewers as the former rugby player grilled Minister for Education Norma Foley during her appearance on the show.

Airing on Wednesday, October 11, the minister appeared in the studio to discuss the results of Budget 2024 in the education sector.

Speaking to Bowe and his co-host Muireann O’Connell, Foley’s main point from the interview was that there will be 744 new teaching posts and 1,200 SNA posts made available for the education sector.

Tommy Bowe grills Education Minister over promised teaching positions

However, Bowe called out the number of posts being committed to by the government, by saying:

“You’ve also committed to 744 new teaching posts; 1,200 SNA posts. We have a message in from Louise going: ‘Where the hell are you gonna get them from?’

“Teachers are leaving in their droves,” he continued. “They can’t afford to live in this country, particularly a lot of them in part times roles.”


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Reading out another question from a viewer, Bowe asked if the positions promised will be full-time.

While the minister pivoted to point out that there are more teachers in the system than ever before, both Tommy and Muireann interjected with the facts that class sizes are “going through the roof” so the teachers are needed, and also that the population is at it’s highest peak since the famine.

Bowe was also quick to try and get Minister Foley to stay on track by constantly referring back to his original question, at one point saying:

“No, sorry, just start with the teachers. Where are we gonna get them from?”

When the minister tried to pivot once again to topics like upskilling, Bowe again interjected: “You’re talking about upskilling, we’re not talking about that. We’re talking about where are these new teachers gonna come from.”

While Minister Foley never answered the original question of how the government will attempt to fill these roles, both Bowe and O’Connell were praised by many for grilling her and attempting to keep her on track to answer the questions at hand.

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