Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees
Wednesday, 22 September 2021
Joint Oireachtas Committee on Social Protection
Engagement with Chairperson Designate of Pobal
I remind members participating remotely that they must do so from within the precincts of Leinster House. The purpose of our meeting this morning is to engage with Ms Rosarii Mannion, the chairperson designate of Pobal, in order to discuss her strategic priorities for the role and her views on the challenges facing the organisation. She is joined by Ms Anna Shakespeare, chief executive of Pobal.
POBAL administers and manages Government and EU funding to address disadvantage and social inclusion. It provides management and support services to approximately 30 programmes in a broad range of areas, including social inclusion; early childhood care and education; community development; peace and reconciliation; equality; labour market supports; and education and training. It allocated €717 million in 2020.
Pobal's reach is widespread. It works on an all-island basis and employs approximately 500 people. On behalf of the committee I welcome Ms Mannion and Ms Shakespeare to this morning's meeting.
Witnesses are reminded of the long-standing parliamentary practice that they should not criticise or make charges against any person or entity by name or in such a way as to make him, her or it identifiable or otherwise engage in speech that might be regarded as damaging to the good name of the person or entity. Therefore, if their statements are potentially defamatory in relation to any identifiable person or entity, they will be directed to discontinue their remarks and it is imperative that they comply with such direction. For witnesses attending remotely outside the precincts of Leinster House and its buildings there are some limitations to parliamentary privilege and as such, witnesses may not benefit from the same level of immunity to legal proceedings as witnesses who are physically present and caution should be exercised accordingly. Members are reminded of the long-standing parliamentary practice to the effect that they should not comment on, criticise or make charges against a person outside the Houses or an official, either by name or in such a way as to make him or her identifiable.
I now call on Ms Mannion to make her opening statement.