Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Wednesday, 21 September 2022

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Education and Skills

School Transport Issues: Engagement with Minister for Education

Photo of Donnchadh Ó LaoghaireDonnchadh Ó Laoghaire (Cork South Central, Sinn Fein) | Oireachtas source

I apologise for interrupting but I have one more question. I accept that the criteria are the criteria. Could the Minister put in place a system whereby everyone who applied on time and was eligible would be accommodated first, followed by those who qualify for concessionary places and those who applied subsequent to the closing date. We should prioritise those who are eligible at that stage subsequent to filling the places with those who applied on time. As I say, those are the parents and children who have been the most let down. They are being left at the side of the road to try to figure out how to drop hours and things like that. I have an email from Bus Éireann which states that additional capacity is not being sought for concessionary pupils who did not secure a ticket for the school year 2022-2023. Whatever about decisions that were taken over the summer, the solution here is additional capacity. How is it acceptable to say to those parents that we are not even trying to find solutions for them? Bus Éireann is not looking for additional capacity for those parents. How can that be justified? Will the Minister ask Bus Éireann to review that and to find additional capacity for those parents and children who lost out?


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