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Ceapachán an Taoisigh agus Ainmniú Chomhaltaí an Rialtais - Appointment of Taoiseach and Nomination of Members of Government (9 Apr 2024)

Simon Harris: So will you.

Ceapachán an Taoisigh agus Ainmniú Chomhaltaí an Rialtais - Appointment of Taoiseach and Nomination of Members of Government (9 Apr 2024)

Simon Harris: You are out of time, Mary Lou.

Ceapachán an Taoisigh agus Ainmniú Chomhaltaí an Rialtais - Appointment of Taoiseach and Nomination of Members of Government (9 Apr 2024)

Simon Harris: Tonight as we hold our first Cabinet meeting, this Government will establish the Cabinet committee on children, education and disability. I am determined to put a focus on disability. It is about breaking down silos across Government and making change happen more quickly. We are determined to bring new coherence and faster progress on solving the issues that matter most to people with...

Ceapachán an Taoisigh agus Ainmniú Chomhaltaí an Rialtais - Appointment of Taoiseach and Nomination of Members of Government (9 Apr 2024)

Simon Harris: : Go raibh maith agat a Cheann Comhairle. I beg leave to announce for the information of the Dáil that I have informed the President that the Dáil has nominated me to be Taoiseach and that he has appointed me accordingly. This Government will need to be both energetic and laser-focused on delivery on housing, health and helping families, farmers, small businesses and on equality...

Ceapachán an Taoisigh agus Ainmniú Chomhaltaí an Rialtais - Appointment of Taoiseach and Nomination of Members of Government (9 Apr 2024)

Simon Harris: In re-appointing Deputy McEntee as Minister for Justice, I am working with her and tasking her to continue her momentum of delivering stronger, safer communities by continuing to fast track legislation to give judges new powers to make sure heinous criminals serve long sentences before they can ever be considered for release.

Ceapachán an Taoisigh agus Ainmniú Chomhaltaí an Rialtais - Appointment of Taoiseach and Nomination of Members of Government (9 Apr 2024)

Simon Harris: We will bring in body cameras and up-to-date technology-----

Ceapachán an Taoisigh agus Ainmniú Chomhaltaí an Rialtais - Appointment of Taoiseach and Nomination of Members of Government (9 Apr 2024)

Simon Harris: -----to help gardaí carry out their duties.

Ceapachán an Taoisigh agus Ainmniú Chomhaltaí an Rialtais - Appointment of Taoiseach and Nomination of Members of Government (9 Apr 2024)

Simon Harris: We will expand prison capacity, Deputy McNamara, and bring forward new measures to increase the penalties for knife crime and antisocial behaviour. We will give the Criminal Assets Bureau more powers to strip criminals of their assets more quickly. We will also work with our European partners to ensure a firm and fair migration system. This country is a welcoming one and knows the benefits...

Taoiseach a Ainmniú - Nomination of Taoiseach (9 Apr 2024)

Simon Harris: Go raibh maith agat, a Cheann Comhairle. Go raibh maith agaibh as ucht bhur gcuid vótaí. Gabhaim buíochas le Peter agus Heather do na focail cineálta. I accept this nomination to serve as Taoiseach and commit to doing everything I can to honour the trust placed in me today. I thank my party, Fine Gael, and our partners in government, Fianna Fáil and the Green...

Taoiseach a Ainmniú - Nomination of Taoiseach (9 Apr 2024)

Simon Harris: I am from Wicklow.

Written Answers — Department of Education and Skills: Departmental Expenditure (20 Mar 2024)

Simon Harris: As part of the policy response to the Funding the Future framework published in May 2022, I identified the need to address cost as a barrier to higher education. I also outlined my intention to pursue funding measures on these issues through the Estimates process, including in respect of reductions to the student contribution payable by free fees eligible undergraduate students. From...

Written Answers — Department of Education and Skills: Departmental Funding (20 Mar 2024)

Simon Harris: The Governing Authority of a University has responsibility under the Universities Act, 1997 for oversight of the governance and strategic direction of the university including the approval of expenditure for major capital and investment projects, and providing strategic direction and managing the financial affairs of the university to ensure value for money and its financial viability. As...

Written Answers — Department of Education and Skills: Departmental Schemes (20 Mar 2024)

Simon Harris: Apprentices are scheduled to the nearest available training location from their home base. SOLAS continues to schedule apprentices to courses due to commence in 2024 and monitors the situation regarding capacity for apprenticeship programmes. To ensure that the system has the capacity to meet the training needs of rapidly increasing numbers of apprentices, expansion of the...

Written Answers — Department of Education and Skills: Departmental Funding (20 Mar 2024)

Simon Harris: It is a priority for my Department to support higher education institutions, in their critical role as drivers of social and economic development in their regions. Within this overall context, the creation of Technological Universities represents a radical reconfiguration of the higher education landscape, which will deliver significant benefits for regional development. This will be...

Written Answers — Department of Education and Skills: Departmental Policies (20 Mar 2024)

Simon Harris: The Advanced Healthcare Assistant Practitioner programme is a 2 year consortia-led apprenticeship at QQI Level 6, and was launched in May 2021. It is a matter for Griffith College as the coordinating provider, in consultation with the consortium, to determine whether there is a need for additional training capacity. This is based on the demand from the healthcare sector. The...

Written Answers — Department of Education and Skills: Apprenticeship Programmes (7 Mar 2024)

Simon Harris: I refer to the details provided by Deputy Feighan. Officials in my Department have made enquiries with SOLAS on behalf of the apprentice concerned. SOLAS have advised that this employer is not registered with SOLAS as an apprentice employer, and as such this period of employment cannot be included in the apprentice’s time served.

Written Answers — Department of Education and Skills: Further and Higher Education (7 Mar 2024)

Simon Harris: Within the meaning of the Universities Act 1997, the Institutions of Technology Acts 1992 to 2006 and the Technological Universities Act 2018, higher education institutions (HEIs) in Ireland are autonomous bodies. As such, these institutions are academically independent and are entitled to regulate their own academic affairs and administrative processes including their academic...

Written Answers — Department of Education and Skills: EU Agreements (7 Mar 2024)

Simon Harris: I am deeply concerned by the desperate situation of civilians in Gaza. This remains a central priority for the Government, including at EU level, where Ireland is consistently calling for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire. The Framework Programme for Research and Innovation - Horizon Europe - is the European Union’s largest research and innovation programme and encompasses all...

Research and Innovation Bill 2024: Report Stage (Resumed) and Final Stage (6 Mar 2024)

Simon Harris: I thank the Leas-Cheann Comhairle. I commend the Bills Office and my officials in the Department who worked so hard on this legislation. I genuinely thank colleagues for the really constructive engagement we have had. I look forward to this legislation now going to the Seanad. This is a real opportunity to have one singular research funding agency in Ireland and to have that parity of...

Research and Innovation Bill 2024: Report Stage (Resumed) and Final Stage (6 Mar 2024)

Simon Harris: I thank the Deputies for their assistance. I should have thanked Bills Office staff for the huge amount of work they have done in preparing for tonight's session and for the turnaround times. I take the point Deputy Sherlock made about the ERC seriously. I am very happy to engage with eminent people such as Professor Luke O'Neill and others in the ERC, who serve Ireland well not just in...

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