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20/06/2013 [Order of Business] The Order of Business is No. 1, Further Education and Training Bill 2013 - Second Stage, to be taken at the conclusion of the Order of Business and conclude not later than 1.45 p.m. if not previously concluded, the contributions of group spokespersons not to exceed eight minutes ...Vol-224 Book-3 Page [164]
20/06/2013 [Order of Business] Yesterday I raised the prospect of another savage attack on children who require special needs assistants and additional resource hours in schools. It has been confirmed that the Government is effecting a 10% reduction to children who have special educational needs and require a...Vol-224 Book-3 Page [164]
20/06/2013 [Order of Business] How can one stand over a 25% cut since the Government came into office?[O'Brien, Darragh]Vol-224 Book-3 Page [165]
20/06/2013 [Order of Business] That is not true. I propose an amendment to the Order of Business, that the Minister for Education and Skills, Deputy Quinn, come to the House and explain to me and my colleagues the reason it is acceptable to remove supports from children who require them.[O'Brien, Darragh]Vol-224 Book-3 Page [165]
20/06/2013 [Order of Business] I welcome the Government decision yesterday to retain in State ownership the harvesting rights of Coillte. This is a good decision and it proves that the Government makes decisions on the basis of merit and on the basis of views expressed by others. The Government also confirme...Vol-224 Book-3 Page [165]
20/06/2013 [Order of Business] I draw attention to proposals from the European Parliament for legislation relating to infant formula, which would forbid pictures of smiling infants or anything else that would idealise the use of infant formula. To deal with the trivial aspect first, at least children in Europ...Vol-224 Book-3 Page [165]
20/06/2013 [Order of Business] I join my colleague, Senator Denis Landy, in welcoming the decision not to sell the harvesting rights of Coillte. It is the right decision. I call for a debate on the future of Coillte. In some parts of the country some of the land has been felled but not replanted. In some c...Vol-224 Book-3 Page [166]
20/06/2013 [Order of Business] I second the amendment to the Order of Business proposed by our party leader in the House, Senator Darragh O'Brien, and wish to expand a little on his very trenchant and accurate comments on the most recent savage cut introduced by the Government. Why is it that it always seems ...Vol-224 Book-3 Page [166]
20/06/2013 [Order of Business] I wish to raise an important issue, but, first, I support Senator Denis Landy's call on the Minister of State at the Department of Education and Skills, Deputy Ciarán Cannon, on the issue of school transport. It is only right that an amnesty be given to those families who inadve...Vol-224 Book-3 Page [167]
20/06/2013 [Order of Business] I wish to again raise the savage and unacceptable cuts in the area of special needs. On the Leader's statement in the House yesterday that there have been no cuts, I met yesterday afternoon with staff at a school in Killinarden, Tallaght, who told me the school had applied for 9...Vol-224 Book-3 Page [168]
20/06/2013 [Order of Business] As I demonstrated yesterday these so-called special needs people could be the next Thomas Edison, Steven Spielberg or Richard Branson. Let us assist and educate these people. Why should we educate normal children and not special needs children? I call on the Leader to provide ...Vol-224 Book-3 Page [168]
20/06/2013 [Order of Business] I rise to condemn the immoral move by the banks to remove tracker mortgages from homeowners in difficulty. One of the conditions of the mortgage arrears resolution process, MARP, is that a person's tracker mortgage cannot be touched. I would like to know from the Minister for F...Vol-224 Book-3 Page [168]
20/06/2013 [Order of Business] How is that to be achieved when the resources are cut by 25%?[O'Brien, Darragh]Vol-224 Book-3 Page [169]
20/06/2013 [Order of Business] Yes. We need a real debate on this issue. A huge amount of money is being spent on special educational needs in this country. This is critical to ensure a level playing field for children. We must find a new way of managing resources to ensure all children are treated fairly....Vol-224 Book-3 Page [169]
20/06/2013 [Order of Business] I draw the Leader's attention to two related health issues, which I ask that he bring to the attention of the Minister for Health, and to another issue which needs to be discussed. I will start with the third matter. I was unable to contribute to the debate on the HSE report in...Vol-224 Book-3 Page [169]
20/06/2013 [Order of Business] Perhaps things can get crazier, but I do not know how. I ask that the Minister ensure that assessments, which I believe are unnecessary - anybody with a computer can download these assessments which are available internationally - conducted on behalf of the State are used only b...Vol-224 Book-3 Page [170]
20/06/2013 [Order of Business] I welcome the news that the international congress of the European People's Party will take place in Dublin in March 2014. A total of 2,000 delegates from 40 countries will attend. It will be a great boost for Dublin and for tourism in the city. The European People's Party is ...Vol-224 Book-3 Page [170]
20/06/2013 [Order of Business] Oireachtas Members from all parties and none will meet today to again discuss the issue of the European Court of Justice ruling in respect of the former Waterford Crystal workers. The case was taken by former workers of Waterford Crystal to the High Court and the High Court soug...Vol-224 Book-3 Page [170]
20/06/2013 [Order of Business] I commend the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources who yesterday announced 21 energy efficiency projects which will be supported by Sustainable Energy Ireland and three local authorities, Fingal County Council, the Cathaoirleach's county of Mayo and Kerry Cou...Vol-224 Book-3 Page [171]
20/06/2013 [Order of Business] I wish to support Senator Landy's call for support for the national strategy on dementia. Together with Senator Landy and many other colleagues I attended the pre-budget submission of the Alzheimer's Society of Ireland. There are currently 41,700 Irish people with dementia and ...Vol-224 Book-3 Page [171]
20/06/2013 [Order of Business] I thank colleagues for their contributions to the debate last night on my Public Health (Availability of Defibrillators) Bill 2013. The Minister probably did not come into the Chamber intending to support the proposal, and his decision not to oppose it was most welcome. The str...Vol-224 Book-3 Page [172]
20/06/2013 [Order of Business] I share in the relief being felt in rural areas throughout the country today at the positive decision by the Government not to proceed with the sale of Coillte's harvesting rights. In addition, I very much welcome the proposed merger with Bord na Móna, which will create a substa...Vol-224 Book-3 Page [172]
20/06/2013 [Order of Business] I join the leader of my party in this House, Senator Darragh O'Brien, and other colleagues in strongly condemning the reduction in support hours for pupils with special educational needs. Some 42,500 children will be deprived next year of additional teaching supports to which th...Vol-224 Book-3 Page [173]
20/06/2013 [Order of Business] That is an easy line to spin. All we hear about are the mistakes of the past, not those of the present.[White, Mary M.]Vol-224 Book-3 Page [173]
20/06/2013 [Order of Business] I have called Senator Jim D'Arcy. Members must allow him to speak.[An Cathaoirleach]Vol-224 Book-3 Page [173]
20/06/2013 [Order of Business] I recall participating in a radio discussion in 2002 with a Fianna Fáil election candidate who informed listeners that 2,000 additional teaching posts were to be created in schools throughout the country. I went back to school delighted to be able to inform my colleagues that we...Vol-224 Book-3 Page [173]
20/06/2013 [Order of Business] Does Senator D'Arcy have a question for the Leader?[An Cathaoirleach]Vol-224 Book-3 Page [173]
20/06/2013 [Order of Business] Senator D'Arcy without interruption. Does the Senator have a question for the Leader?[An Cathaoirleach]Vol-224 Book-3 Page [174]
20/06/2013 [Order of Business] I am obliged to respond to some of the nonsense we have heard this morning from the other side of the House. This is the third year in a row that the number of special needs assistants and resource teachers has been protected by the Government.[D'Arcy, Jim]Vol-224 Book-3 Page [174]
20/06/2013 [Order of Business] As regards the 10% reduction in support hours, the National Council for Special Education has asked schools to use theme teaching where possible. I visited Scoil Mhuire Gan Smál in Kilsaran, County Louth, last week with the Minister for Education and Skills, Deputy Ruairí Quinn,...Vol-224 Book-3 Page [174]
20/06/2013 [Order of Business] There has been a 25% reduction in provision in two years.[O'Brien, Darragh]Vol-224 Book-3 Page [174]
20/06/2013 [Order of Business] He is working, however, within the limits imposed upon him as a consequence of the squandering of moneys that went on under the previous Government. Money was thrown about like confetti for years and now there is nothing left in the pot.[D'Arcy, Jim]Vol-224 Book-3 Page [174]
20/06/2013 [Order of Business] There are more than 10,000 SNAs in the system. I am surprised that a person of such integrity as Senator Darragh O'Brien will not acknowledge the work being done by the Minister to retain resources and funding in the area of special educational needs.[D'Arcy, Jim]Vol-224 Book-3 Page [174]
20/06/2013 [Order of Business] Senator D'Arcy should see what response he gets if he makes that argument to parents of children with special needs.[Mooney, Paschal]Vol-224 Book-3 Page [174]
20/06/2013 [Order of Business] Not a single SNA in Donegal will lose his or her job this year.[D'Arcy, Jim]Vol-224 Book-3 Page [174]
20/06/2013 [Order of Business] Will the Senator please put a question to the Leader? He is out of time at this stage.[An Cathaoirleach]Vol-224 Book-3 Page [174]
20/06/2013 [Order of Business] I feel sad rather than angry about the latest cut in provision for children with special needs. That is what it is. The officials say it is a case of doing more with the same rather than doing the same with less. However, when it comes down to it, there is extra demand. If a ...Vol-224 Book-3 Page [174]
20/06/2013 [Order of Business] Education is extremely important to every parent and family. Ireland is traditionally known as the land of saints and scholars. For many years, the education system has, unfortunately, deprived people with disabilities of a proper education. If it were not for the good graces ...Vol-224 Book-3 Page [175]
20/06/2013 [Order of Business] I would like us to arrive at a situation whereby 10,500 special needs assistants are not required.[Conway, Martin]Vol-224 Book-3 Page [175]
20/06/2013 [Order of Business] The Senator can make those points during the debate.[An Cathaoirleach]Vol-224 Book-3 Page [175]
20/06/2013 [Order of Business] We must improve the skills of our teachers to such a degree that they can provide the necessary supports. A statement from the Minister for Education and Skills, Deputy Quinn - not his Department - is an absolute priority at this point.[Conway, Martin]Vol-224 Book-3 Page [175]
20/06/2013 [Order of Business] I also wish to raise the issue of special needs education. We all subscribe to the fact that we are in stringent times and that money is not as readily available to the Exchequer as it was previously. That is a fact. However, the Government must govern and make decisions on ho...Vol-224 Book-3 Page [175]
20/06/2013 [Order of Business] I was somewhat disturbed by the misrepresentation in The Irish Times this morning that I had questioned the value of investment in sport in Ireland. That is not true. The statement that I had referred to Ireland as a Third World nation when it came to sport was also not true. ...Vol-224 Book-3 Page [176]
20/06/2013 [Order of Business] Senator Darragh O'Brien and several other Senators again raised the issue of special needs, which was addressed on the Order of Business yesterday. I will repeat some of what I said yesterday. The number of SNA and resource teachers is being maintained at current levels. That ...Vol-224 Book-3 Page [176]
20/06/2013 [Order of Business] It went from 300 SNAs to 10,000. The Government inherited this and now it is destroying it.[Ó Domhnaill, Brian]Vol-224 Book-3 Page [177]
20/06/2013 [Order of Business] The Senator has had his say. Let other people speak.[Cummins, Maurice]Vol-224 Book-3 Page [177]
20/06/2013 [Order of Business] Gabhaim buíochas leis on gCeannaire. I have no regrets.[White, Mary M.]Vol-224 Book-3 Page [179]
20/06/2013 [Order of Business] I mentioned Senator Quinn's Bill yesterday and note his points on the lotto. The probability that the amount will be less than what had been suggested is because of the insistence that good causes will be helped. That is possibly the reason the value will been brought down. I ...Vol-224 Book-3 Page [179]
20/06/2013 [Order of Business] It is the biggest offender. It might not go down well in Dublin 4.[Ó Domhnaill, Brian]Vol-224 Book-3 Page [179]
20/06/2013 [Order of Business] Senators Jim D'Arcy and Conway called for the work of the working group on special needs to be expedited and I am sure that will be done. I have addressed the whole question of special needs. Senator Ó Domhnaill said the Government is here to govern and that is exactly what thi...Vol-224 Book-3 Page [179]
20/06/2013 [Order of Business] I am glad. I was waiting for the Senator to come in and correct me.[Cummins, Maurice]Vol-224 Book-3 Page [179]
20/06/2013 [Order of Business] I was wondering whether the Senator was awake. He did.[Cummins, Maurice]Vol-224 Book-3 Page [179]
20/06/2013 [Order of Business] He was not as forthcoming during the debate on the amount of foreign aid that should be given.[Cummins, Maurice]Vol-224 Book-3 Page [179]
20/06/2013 [Order of Business] Senator Eamonn Coghlan clarified the comments he made yesterday at the Joint Committee on Transport and Communications regarding sport. The only thing we can say is that one can never believe everything one reads in the newspapers.[Cummins, Maurice]Vol-224 Book-3 Page [180]
20/06/2013 [Order of Business] Senator Darragh O'Brien has moved an amendment to the Order of Business, "That a debate on the reduction and removal of supports in special needs education be taken today". Is the amendment being pressed?[An Cathaoirleach]Vol-224 Book-3 Page [180]
20/06/2013 [Order of Business] Under Standing Order 62(3)(b) I request that the division be taken again other than by electronic means.[Wilson, Diarmuid]Vol-224 Book-3 Page [180]
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