The History of HEN

Our Campaign 1998-1999

HEN was started in October 1998. A major impetus in setting up the Network was the threat of new legislation to regulate Home Education in Ireland. A great deal of time and effort has been put into a campaign to throw out or at least radically modify this Education (Welfare) Bill. Here is the story of our early campaign.

We read the Educational Welfare Bill 1999 and drafted three responses to it.

The Educational Welfare Bill was debated in the Seanad on 16th June 1999 and again and again on 16th June 1999

The Minister for Education and Science was in Question Time on 17th June 1999. And launched a Consultative Seminar on the Bill in the Clontarf Castle
Hotel with this speech on 21 Sept 1999.

The Educational Welfare Bill was debated in the Dail on 5th October 1999 and 6th October 1999 and again 6th October 1999 Please note that sect5 starts with
some 40 lines of non E(W)B matter....and on 17th November 1999 The debate in the Dail still does not appear to be complete.

We drafted a letter to print and send to TDs protesting about the Education (Welfare) Bill.

We made a submission on the Education (Welfare) Bill to the Irish Council for Civil Liberties.

And had a meeting with and made a submission to Richard Bruton T.D. Fine Gael spokesperson for Education.

Then, government appointed a new Minister of Education, Dr. Michael Woods. We wrote him a letter to help address desirable amendments to the EducationWelfare Bill