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Written Answers — Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment: Energy Prices (14 Jul 2022)

Damien English: I propose to take Questions Nos. 173, 174 and 190 together. I wish to assure the deputy that the Government is very conscious of what the rise in global energy costs means for Irish businesses, particularly small enterprises and those with tight margins, including those in the hospitality sector. While electricity policy nationally is broadly the remit of the Minister for the Environment,...

Written Answers — Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment: Enterprise Policy (14 Jul 2022)

Damien English: I propose to take Questions Nos. 175 and 193 together. The Government is very aware of the impact of rising prices on Irish businesses. As Chair of the Retail Forum, I have heard first-hand about the challenges which retail businesses, including food retailers, are facing. Energy costs are one of the prime factors in the increase in business costs. Given that Ireland is a price taker on...

Written Answers — Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment: Workplace Relations Commission (14 Jul 2022)

Damien English: Ireland’s system of industrial relations is essentially voluntary in nature. The role of the State has been to underpin a voluntarist system through the provision of a framework and institutions through which good industrial relations can prosper. This system has served us well over the decades. Adjudications carried out in the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) under the...

Sick Leave Bill 2022: From the Seanad (13 Jul 2022)

Damien English: As amendments Nos. 1 and 2 are grouped, I will speak to both amendments. Amendment No. 1 makes a minor but useful change to the Minister’s power to set the number of sick leave days by order. As originally formulated, it would have required the Minister to specify the number of additional days to which employees will be entitled. The amendment means that an order can now simply...

Sick Leave Bill 2022: From the Seanad (13 Jul 2022)

Damien English: On Report Stage in the Dáil, the Tánaiste accepted an amendment that removed the power of the Minister to reduce the number of statutory sick leave days by regulation. These are consequential, technical amendments made in the Seanad and they reflect the change in policy, in that the number of sick days can only be increased. This formed part of the debate in this House and the...

Sick Leave Bill 2022: From the Seanad (13 Jul 2022)

Damien English: I thank Opposition Members and all the parties for their co-operation on all stages of the Bill in both Houses over the past 18 months. While there were different amendments and slight disagreements, generally we were all supportive of the Bill and how important it is for Ireland to have a statutory sick pay scheme. I thank Members for their help and support and the Tánaiste for his...

Written Answers — Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment: Intellectual Property (13 Jul 2022)

Damien English: Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) are one of the principal means through which companies, creators and inventors generate returns on their investment in research, innovation and creativity. IPRs are a crucial incentive for the development of new and innovative medicinal products, enabling the research and development necessary for the creation of many of today’s medicines and...

Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space: Motion (12 Jul 2022)

Damien English: There is plenty of space here.

Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space: Motion (12 Jul 2022)

Damien English: I move: That Dáil Éireann, pursuant to Article 29.5.2° of Bunreacht na hÉireann, approves the terms of the Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies, signed by the Government of Ireland on 27th January, 1967, and laid before Dáil Eireann on 30th June, 2022. ...

Seanad: Nithe i dtosach suíonna - Commencement Matters: Educational Disadvantage (12 Jul 2022)

Damien English: I thank the Acting Chairperson. As ever, it is great to be here. I thank Senator Carrigy for tabling this important matter for discussion today. I apologise on behalf of the Minister, Deputy Foley, who is not here because she is at a Cabinet meeting. She asked me to take this matter on her behalf. I will certainly make sure she gets the message and also the figures and statistics the...

Seanad: Nithe i dtosach suíonna - Commencement Matters: Educational Disadvantage (12 Jul 2022)

Damien English: I again thank Senator Carrigy for raising this issue. He is absolutely right to identify that it is important that we try to tackle absenteeism and focus our resources as much as we possibly can on those who are missing school days or in difficult situations. That said, it is fair to say that some areas of the whole programme need extra resource levels. The Senator made that point...

Seanad: Nithe i dtosach suíonna - Commencement Matters: Schools Building Projects (12 Jul 2022)

Damien English: I thank Senator Keogan for the opportunity to have this conversation. I assure the Senator that I do not want to upend the Taoiseach, as he is a higher authority than me, but I will try to give the Senator as positive a reply as possible. It is important that we are discussing education when there are seven young students in the Visitors Gallery from County Meath. A lot of them like...

Seanad: Nithe i dtosach suíonna - Commencement Matters: Schools Building Projects (12 Jul 2022)

Damien English: Again, I thank Senator Keogan for raising the matter. It is important that we constantly review these figures and track the population. Having spent time as a Minister of State in the Department of Education, I understand the system it has. It is quite good at analysing the data and the figures, but sometimes it can miss some local information as well. It is important that we constantly...

Seanad: Nithe i dtosach suíonna - Commencement Matters: Schools Building Projects (12 Jul 2022)

Damien English: At least some of them are from Cortown school as well because most of them are my family, so I better welcome them too.

Seanad: Nithe i dtosach suíonna - Commencement Matters: Schools Building Projects (12 Jul 2022)

Damien English: All of them are - sons, daughters, nieces and nephews.

Seanad: Nithe i dtosach suíonna - Commencement Matters: Schools Building Projects (12 Jul 2022)

Damien English: There are. The two at the end play with your family, Acting Chair.

Seanad: Nithe i dtosach suíonna - Commencement Matters: Educational Disadvantage (12 Jul 2022)

Damien English: I thank the Senator for raising this important issue. The Minister for Education sends her apologies that she cannot make it to the debate because she is in Cavan today, but she would like to have been part of the discussion. In March, she announced a major expansion of the DEIS programme, for the first time since 2017, which means eligible schools will now gain access to targeted supports...

Seanad: Nithe i dtosach suíonna - Commencement Matters: Job Creation (12 Jul 2022)

Damien English: I thank Senator Crowe for raising this issue. It is important that we have this discussion given the importance of pubs and restaurants in the hospitality sector, and all they do for this country. The pub trade has been very much affected during the Covid-19 pandemic. I thank all involved in both representative bodies for their work in assisting the Government. I am conscious that Padraig...

Seanad: Nithe i dtosach suíonna - Commencement Matters: Job Creation (12 Jul 2022)

Damien English: I thank Senator Crowe for raising this issue. I will close by reminding the House of the importance the Government has placed on supporting business, including publicans, during the pandemic. Most businesses recognise that too. We want to support businesses and jobs, but we also recognise the pressures on the SME community when its trade was restricted. We are aware of the importance of...

Seanad: Nithe i dtosach suíonna - Commencement Matters: Passport Services (12 Jul 2022)

Damien English: I am glad to take this Commencement matter on behalf of the Minister, Deputy Coveney, who is at a Cabinet meeting and could not be here. The Senator raises an important area because there has been a significant focus on passports in the past four or five months, with much pressure on the system. All online applications are processed in the same way. This includes all applications from...

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