A Mullingar husband and wife team have attained the rare achievement of getting elected to the boards of management at two different schools in the town.
Ayesha and Rashid Butt, from Beechdrive, have respectively been appointed to the boards of St Coleman’s NS on the Delvin Road, and Loreto College, Mullingar, and will each serve a four-year term.
Rashid had a computer business, the IT Zone on Patrick Street, but is now a full-time community activist working with St Vincent de Paul, the Irish Mens’ Network, the Westmeath Immigrant Network, and the Irish Africa Forum, based in Dublin.
“I find I’m able to highlight the concerns for people outside Dublin. It’s just like under the Empire - people in the metropolitan area tend to suit ther own convenience,” said Mr Butt.
“I’m working towards equality, and a more just society. As an Irish citizen whose children are growing up here, I must do everything I can to make this a better, more equal, more inclusive Ireland than the one I lived in myself. That’s my holy thought,” he added.
Mr Butt became the town’s youngest peace commissioner in 2009, the same year he made an unsuccessful run for the council chamber as an independent candidate.
He is also the first Muslim to have served on the board of management of an Irish Catholic school when he was initially appointed to the board at St Coleman’s in 2007.
Ayesha is also a community activist, as well as being a homemaker.
Ayesha and Rashid’s three younger children attend St Coleman’s, whilst their eldest is enrolled in Loreto.