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              7/09/2017 - Fifty years ago, in 1967, the then Minister for Education, Donogh O’Malley, announced
              plans for second-level education
              throughout Ireland. Now, a
              commemorative stamp from An Post,

              issued today (Thursday) marks that
              significant milestone in Irish life.
              The stamp, designed by leading designer
              Ger Garland with photography by Alan

              Betson, features Lauren Dench and
              Michael Duke two students of Gorey
              Community school in North Wexford, the
              largest second level school in the country.

              A First day Cover, designed to
              accompany the stamp, includes a portrait
              of O’Malley who served as Minister for Education from 1966 until his death in 1968.
              Donogh O’Malley joined the Fianna Fail cabinet as Minister for Health following the General

              Election of 1966. He replaced Patrick Hillery as Minister for Education one years later and acted
              immediately to introduce the recommendations of an official Department report of the education
              system. Shortly after his appointment he announced that from 1969 education to Intermediate
              Certificate level would be free.

              It is widely accepted that the introduction of free second level education changed the face of modern
              Ireland fundamentally. Reports of the time indicate that about a third of all children finished primary
              school were dropping out of education altogether. At fifteen years of age fewer than 50% were still in
              full time education. By age sixteen, only 36% were still at school.

              Among the other reforms initiated by Minister O’Malley were the extension of the school transport
              scheme, the building of new non-denominational, comprehensive and community schools and the
              Regional Technical College system. Unfortunately, the Minister did not live to see his reforms

              The commemorative stamp and First day Cover (FDC) are available from main post offices, from the
              stamp counters at Dublin’s GPO or online at
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