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Written Answers. - High Court Decision.

Thursday, 28 March 1996

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 463 No. 5

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[1397]

 21. Mr. M. Kitt Information on Michael P. Kitt Zoom on Michael P. Kitt  asked the Minister for Education Information on Niamh Bhreathnach Zoom on Niamh Bhreathnach  the reason the Government is continuing to appeal the High Court decision regarding the O'Donoghue case concerning the rights of people with disabilities to an education in this country to the Supreme Court. [6711/96]

 23. Mr. T. Kitt Information on Tom Kitt Zoom on Tom Kitt  asked the Minister for Education Information on Niamh Bhreathnach Zoom on Niamh Bhreathnach  the reason the Government is continuing to appeal the High Court decision regarding the O'Donoghue case concerning the rights of people with disabilities to an education in this country to the Supreme Court. [6709/96]

 24. Mr. Power Information on Seán Power Zoom on Seán Power  asked the Minister for Education Information on Niamh Bhreathnach Zoom on Niamh Bhreathnach  the reason the Government is continuing to appeal the High Court decision regarding the O'Donoghue case concerning the rights of people with disabilities to an education in this country to the Supreme Court. [6708/96]

 25. Mr. O'Leary Information on John O'Leary Zoom on John O'Leary  asked the Minister for Education Information on Niamh Bhreathnach Zoom on Niamh Bhreathnach  the reason the Government is continuing to appeal the High Court decision regarding the O'Donoghue case concerning the rights of people with disabilities to an education in this country to the Supreme Court. [6712/96]

 36. Mr. Martin Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin  asked the Minister for Education Information on Niamh Bhreathnach Zoom on Niamh Bhreathnach  the reason the Government is continuing to appeal the High Court decision regarding the O'Donoghue case concerning the rights of people with disabilities to an education in this country to the Supreme Court. [6704/96]

 44. Mr. Nolan Information on M. J. Nolan Zoom on M. J. Nolan  asked the Minister for Education Information on Niamh Bhreathnach Zoom on Niamh Bhreathnach  the reason the Government is continuing to appeal the High Court decision regarding the O'Donoghue case concerning the rights of people with disabilities to an education in this country to the Supreme Court. [6706/96]

 51. Mr. Moynihan Information on Donal Moynihan Zoom on Donal Moynihan  asked the Minister for Education Information on Niamh Bhreathnach Zoom on Niamh Bhreathnach  the reason the Government is continuing to appeal the High Court decision regarding the O'Donoghue case concerning the rights of people with disabilities to an education in this country to the Supreme Court. [6705/96]

[1398]

 56. Mr. Foley Information on Denis Foley Zoom on Denis Foley  asked the Minister for Education Information on Niamh Bhreathnach Zoom on Niamh Bhreathnach  the reason the Government is continuing to appeal the High Court decision regarding the O'Donoghue case concerning the rights of people with disabilities to an education in this country to the Supreme Court. [6714/96]

 59. Mr. Andrews Information on David Andrews Zoom on David Andrews  asked the Minister for Education Information on Niamh Bhreathnach Zoom on Niamh Bhreathnach  the reason the Government is continuing to appeal the High Court decision regarding the O'Donoghue case concerning the rights of people with disabilities to an education in this country to the Supreme Court. [6720/96]

 63. Mr. M. Brennan Information on Matt Brennan Zoom on Matt Brennan  asked the Minister for Education Information on Niamh Bhreathnach Zoom on Niamh Bhreathnach  the reason the Government is continuing to appeal the High Court decision regarding the O'Donoghue case concerning the rights of people with disabilities to an education in this country to the Supreme Court. [6719/96]

 66. Mr. J. Walsh Information on Joe Walsh Zoom on Joe Walsh  asked the Minister for Education Information on Niamh Bhreathnach Zoom on Niamh Bhreathnach  the reason the Government is continuing to appeal the High Court decision regarding the O'Donoghue case concerning the rights of people with disabilities to an education in this country to the Supreme Court. [6717/96]

 78. Mr. Doherty Information on Seán Doherty Zoom on Seán Doherty  asked the Minister for Education Information on Niamh Bhreathnach Zoom on Niamh Bhreathnach  the reason the Government is continuing to appeal the High Court decision regarding the O'Donoghue case concerning the rights of people with disabilities to an education in this country to the Supreme Court. [6715/96]

Minister for Education (Ms Bhreathnach): Information on Niamh Bhreathnach Zoom on Niamh Bhreathnach I propose to take Questions Nos. 21, 23, 24, 25, 36, 44, 51, 56, 59, 63, 66 and 78 together.

In appealing the decision of the High Court in the case of Paul O'Donoghue the State is not appealing the central element in the High Court judgment — that a profoundly handicapped child is [1399] educable. Neither will the appeal, however it is resolved, in any way diminish the services made available, after this judgement, to the child involved or to children with similar disabilities. The appeal is being pursued entirely without prejudice to the present or future level of education services to such children.

The judgment, however, raises issues of more general concern, primarily to do with the separation of the powers and duties of the Executive and judicial arms of Government and the appropriate relationship between the two. These are constitutional matters of the utmost importance, having a relevance across the entire spectrum of State activities. The Government has been advised by counsel and the Attorney General that the Supreme Court, which has a special role in interpreting the Constitution, should, in the public interest, be asked to consider these aspects of the judgement. It is on this basis that an appeal has been lodged.


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