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Seanad: Nithe i dtosach suíonna - Commencement Matters: National Risk Assessment (11 Jul 2019)

John Halligan: On behalf of the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, I thank the Senator for raising this matter. First, it is important to point out that the issue of Brexit is separate and distinct from a Border poll. I believe that to be the case. The full implementation of the Good Friday Agreement and subsequent agreements is a priority for the Government. The approach of the...

Seanad: Nithe i dtosach suíonna - Commencement Matters: National Risk Assessment (11 Jul 2019)

John Halligan: Two issues arise. The Senator mentioned Brexit on a number of occasions. That is in the risk assessment. Brexit is separate and distinct from a Border poll. Brexit is not a method of unifying Ireland. There have been two distinct opinion polls on this issue. Opinion polls have been taken consistently in Northern Ireland. The latest one taken last March by The Irish Times indicated that...

Seanad: Nithe i dtosach suíonna - Commencement Matters: National Risk Assessment (11 Jul 2019)

John Halligan: Only 32%% of people would favour reunification at this time.

Seanad: Nithe i dtosach suíonna - Commencement Matters: National Risk Assessment (11 Jul 2019)

John Halligan: The Senator is not reflecting the views of people in Northern Ireland, which have to be reflected.

Seanad: Nithe i dtosach suíonna - Commencement Matters: Proposed Legislation (11 Jul 2019)

John Halligan: I thank Senator Devine. I certainly do not think she is naive. On behalf of the Minister of State, Deputy Jim Daly, who is abroad this week on Government business, I thank the Senator for asking this very important question. As she will know, the expert group review of the 2001 Mental Health Act was completed in 2015. The group’s final report had 165 recommendations, most of which...

Seanad: Nithe i dtosach suíonna - Commencement Matters: Proposed Legislation (11 Jul 2019)

John Halligan: I again thank the Senator for allowing me to update the House on behalf of the Minister of State, Deputy Daly. In sending the draft heads to the Mental Health Commission, we have reached a position that Oireachtas Members wanted us to reach - if the Senator recalls, that is what was being asked of us. Oireachtas Members have been requesting this for some time. We are obliged to await the...

Seanad: Nithe i dtosach suíonna - Commencement Matters: Medicinal Products Availability (11 Jul 2019)

John Halligan: I am taking this matter on behalf of the Minister for Health, Deputy Harris. I commend Senator Noone on the wonderful work she did as Chair of the Joint Committee on the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution, where her direction was incisive and very progressive. As I am sure the Senator is aware, the issue of access to contraception has been the subject of particular attention in recent...

Seanad: Nithe i dtosach suíonna - Commencement Matters: Medicinal Products Availability (11 Jul 2019)

John Halligan: I would like to make three points very briefly. The level of use of long-acting reversible contraception is still quite low, despite the advantages I know it has. There are different reasons for that. There is no question but that cost is a factor. At the same time, we should not lose sight of the fact that the Irish contraception and crisis pregnancy study showed that 88% of respondents...

Written Answers — Department of Education and Skills: School Transport Eligibility (11 Jul 2019)

John Halligan: School transport is a significant operation managed by Bus Éireann on behalf of my Department. There are currently over 117,500 children, including over 13,000 children with special educational needs, transported in over 5,000 vehicles on a daily basis to primary and post-primary schools throughout the country covering over 100 million kilometres annually. The purpose of my...

Written Answers — Department of Education and Skills: School Transport Eligibility (11 Jul 2019)

John Halligan: School transport is a significant operation managed by Bus Éireann on behalf of my Department. There are currently over 117,500 children, including over 13,000 children with special educational needs, transported in over 5,000 vehicles on a daily basis to primary and post-primary schools throughout the country covering over 100 million kilometres annually. The purpose of my...

Written Answers — Department of Education and Skills: National Training Fund (11 Jul 2019)

John Halligan: I propose to take Questions Nos. 277 and 278 together. The National Training Fund (NTF) was established by the National Training Fund Act, 2000, as a dedicated fund to support the training of those in employment, and those seeking employment. The Act also provides for the funding of research to provide information on existing and likely future skills requirements of the economy. The...

Written Answers — Department of Education and Skills: Skills Development (11 Jul 2019)

John Halligan: Skillnet Ireland actively supports and works with businesses in Ireland to address their current and future skills needs. Skillnet Ireland fund groups of companies in the same region/sector, and with similar training needs, through training networks that deliver subsidised training to Irish businesses. Skillnet Ireland networks arrange relevant, cost-effective and innovative training...

Written Answers — Department of Education and Skills: Apprenticeship Programmes (11 Jul 2019)

John Halligan: An Annual Student Contribution (ASC) is levied on all students attending Institutes of Technology (IoTs).  Previously this ASC was paid by FÁS/SOLAS with apprentices themselves paying the part of the contribution relating to examination fees. As part of Budget 2014, SOLAS ceased making payments to IoTs and apprentices pay the full pro rata ASC. The...

Written Answers — Department of Education and Skills: School Transport Appeals (11 Jul 2019)

John Halligan: School transport is a significant operation managed by Bus Éireann on behalf of the Department. There are currently over 117,500 children, including over 13,000 children with special educational needs, transported in over 5,000 vehicles on a daily basis to primary and post-primary schools throughout the country covering over 100 million kilometres annually. The School Transport...

Written Answers — Department of Education and Skills: School Transport Data (11 Jul 2019)

John Halligan: I propose to take Questions Nos. 309 and 310 together. School transport is a significant operation managed by Bus Éireann on behalf of the Department. There are currently over 117,500 children, including over 13,000 children with special educational needs, transported in over 5,000 vehicles on a daily basis to primary and post-primary schools throughout the country covering over 100...

Written Answers — Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation: Project Ireland 2040 Implementation (11 Jul 2019)

John Halligan: The Disruptive Technologies Innovation Fund (DTIF) is a €500 million fund established under Project Ireland 2040 and forms a key part in the delivery of the Pillar 1 goal of Future Jobs Ireland to embrace innovation and technological change. In December 2018, 27 collaborative projects were approved for funding under the first call of the DTIF. The DTIF will see investment in the...

Seanad: Nithe i dtosach suíonna - Commencement Matters: School Patronage (10 Jul 2019)

John Halligan: I thank the Senator for raising this very important matter. I will respond on behalf of the Minister who cannot be present. It gives me the opportunity to set out for the Seanad the position with regard to the patronage process for the new primary school in Donabate, County Dublin. As the Senator may be aware, in April 2018 the Government announced plans for the establishment of 42 new...

Seanad: Nithe i dtosach suíonna - Commencement Matters: School Patronage (10 Jul 2019)

John Halligan: I have been told that the patronage process for most of the other schools will begin in 2020. The Minister told me that this school will commence later in 2019. To be honest, I do not have a definite date but over the next couple of days I will speak to the Department to see if I can get dates for the Senator, which is important for her. While I have referred to 2019 and 2020, I am assured...

Written Answers — Department of Education and Skills: School Transport Provision (10 Jul 2019)

John Halligan: School transport is a significant operation managed by Bus Éireann on behalf of the Department. There are currently over 117,500 children, including over 13,000 children with special educational needs, transported in over 5,000 vehicles on a daily basis to primary and post-primary schools throughout the country covering over 100 million kilometres annually. The purpose of the scheme is,...

Written Answers — Department of Education and Skills: School Transport Provision (9 Jul 2019)

John Halligan: School transport is a significant operation managed by Bus Éireann on behalf of the Department. The purpose of my Department's School Transport Scheme is, having regard to available resources, to support the transport to and from school of children who reside remote from their nearest school. There are currently over 117,500 children, including over 13,000 children with special...

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