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Galway Bay FM Newsroom – Department of Education Figures have shown that 108 classes in Galway had 30 or more pupils in their final school year.

The figures, provided to Sinn Fein Education spokesman Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire and published in the Irish Times, showed that across the country there were more than 66,000 primary school students in classes of 30 or more students.

These included 208 classes of 30 or more pupils in Cork County Council and other areas with high numbers were South Dublin County Council with 142, Meath with 113 and Limerick with 106.

A total of 2,120 classes had 30 or more students last year, with some in Co Monaghan having 39 students and others in the southern and western regions having 38.

The Secretary-General of the Irish National Teachers’ Organization, John Boyle, said it was “a crying shame” and an enduring national embarrassment.

Mr Boyle said measures to reduce household class sizes should be announced to “end this ongoing national embarrassment and give Ireland’s children equal opportunities with their European counterparts”.

The student-teacher ratio was set to hit an all-time low of 25:1 in the last school year, but is still far from the EU average of 20:1 and around 21:1 in Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development member states.