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Seanad: Second Anniversary of Russian Invasion of Ukraine: Statements (22 Feb 2024)

Peter Burke: I would like to thank the House for inviting me to participate in today’s timely debate marking the second anniversary of Russia’s illegal and unprovoked full-scale invasion of Ukraine. For more than 700 days, Ukraine has been exercising its inherent right to self-defence against Russian aggression in accordance with international law, including the UN Charter. The people of...

Seanad: Second Anniversary of Russian Invasion of Ukraine: Statements (22 Feb 2024)

Peter Burke: I thank the Acting Chair for the additional time.

Seanad: Second Anniversary of Russian Invasion of Ukraine: Statements (22 Feb 2024)

Peter Burke: I thank all those who have contributed to this very important debate to mark the two-year anniversary. I acknowledge both ambassadors who are in attendance. I know that Lithuania is a great advocate for Kyiv and the Ukrainian people. During my time as Minister of State with responsibility for European affairs, we have had a very close relationship with Lithuania as well. We have been...

Seanad: Second Anniversary of Russian Invasion of Ukraine: Statements (22 Feb 2024)

Peter Burke: I thank Senator Byrne. Irish support for Ukraine remains unwavering. Many Members of the House have referred to the circumvention of sanctions. I understand we are now on the brink of agreeing our 13th package of sanctions against Russia, which will be exceptionally important. I acknowledge the great work of the EU sanctions envoy, David O'Sullivan. He is currently working with third...

Written Answers — Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth: International Protection (21 Feb 2024)

Peter Burke: 136. To ask the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth if he will advise on a case (details supplied). [8268/24]

Written Answers — Department of Health: Nursing Education (21 Feb 2024)

Peter Burke: 154. To ask the Minister for Health the reason a student nurse (details supplied) is not entitled to the accommodation allowance to facilitate their work placement; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8172/24]

Written Answers — Department of Housing, Planning, and Local Government: Hedge Cutting (20 Feb 2024)

Peter Burke: 333. To ask the Minister for Housing, Planning, and Local Government if he will extend the tree/hedge cutting deadline which is due to expire shortly. [8004/24]

Written Answers — Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth: Childcare Services (20 Feb 2024)

Peter Burke: 507. To ask the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth when grants will be available for childcare providers to extend their premises; the details of the scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7934/24]

Death of Former Taoiseach: Expressions of Sympathy (7 Feb 2024)

Peter Burke: On behalf of my constituents in Longford-Westmeath, a neighbouring constituency of the former Taoiseach's, I extend my sympathies to his family: his wife Finola; his children, Matthew, Juliana, Emily and Mary-Elizabeth; obviously our colleague here, Richard, who is so dear to us; and Mary, his sister. I have great memories of the former Taoiseach in my constituency. I was very privileged...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on European Union Affairs: EU General Affairs Council Meeting: Discussion (7 Feb 2024)

Peter Burke: I will first acknowledge the passing of John Bruton, considering we are dealing with European affairs. When I was before the committee to discuss the Stormont brake and aspects of the Windsor Framework, he was one of the first to get on to me about really looking at the detail and getting into the weeds as to how the Stormont brake worked and the concerns he had regarding aspects of it. You...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on European Union Affairs: EU General Affairs Council Meeting: Discussion (7 Feb 2024)

Peter Burke: I thank the Deputy for his comments. With regard to the Middle East, obviously, this is of paramount concern and is the number one issue facing the European Council, given the horrific context that we can see on our screens every week, the atrocities carried out in Gaza and the reprehensible response by Israel against very vulnerable people. It is also in the context of the destruction of...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on European Union Affairs: EU General Affairs Council Meeting: Discussion (7 Feb 2024)

Peter Burke: Yes. It is quite a short paper. It was a submission to the General Affairs Council. It re-presents the argument that, in the accession process, so many thresholds require unanimity. Take North Macedonia for example. It had to change its name. That process took a long time. Now Bulgaria is raising issues with minorities, which again took a huge amount of diplomatic pressure. Citizens...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on European Union Affairs: EU General Affairs Council Meeting: Discussion (7 Feb 2024)

Peter Burke: I thank Deputy Ó Murchú for his intervention. He has detailed the situation in Gaza and the challenges we face in a European context. We are not a federal union but a collection of democracies. That presents a challenge when trying to get unanimity. The huge advantage is when we get unanimity we are exceptionally strong. Unfortunately, we have not reached that threshold yet....

Joint Oireachtas Committee on European Union Affairs: EU General Affairs Council Meeting: Discussion (7 Feb 2024)

Peter Burke: We raised it firmly and the Taoiseach raised it at the European Council. Unfortunately, there is no agreement on it as of yet.

Joint Oireachtas Committee on European Union Affairs: EU General Affairs Council Meeting: Discussion (7 Feb 2024)

Peter Burke: I acknowledge Deputy Haughey's contribution to European affairs. Every time I have been in the Dáil to talk about the European Council, he has been there asking pertinent questions about the European context and the issues facing Europe. I wish him well, although I hope there is a long time to go yet in this current Dáil and look forward to working with him into the future. On...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on European Union Affairs: EU General Affairs Council Meeting: Discussion (7 Feb 2024)

Peter Burke: I thank the Senator for her questions. With regard to the operability of the asylum and migration pact, the date of June 2026 applies throughout the Union but individual states will deal with it in their own right prior to that. The Senator will have heard various announcements as to what the State is doing in regard to its processes, which are not in line with this pact and, in fact, we...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on European Union Affairs: EU General Affairs Council Meeting: Discussion (7 Feb 2024)

Peter Burke: I think we should put forward the best person for the job. I know a lot of water will have gone under the political bridge by the time we face that hurdle. I understand and always feel in politics that the best person for the job should go forward. I think we have to get more women into politics. During my previous role as the Minister of State at the Department of Housing, Local...

Written Answers — Department of Education and Skills: Schools Building Projects (7 Feb 2024)

Peter Burke: 203. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if an application for a school extension (details supplied) will be considered favourably; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [5414/24]

Written Answers — Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport: Driver Licences (1 Feb 2024)

Peter Burke: 181. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he could advise on a driving licence (details supplied). [4745/24]

Written Answers — Department of Education and Skills: School Curriculum (31 Jan 2024)

Peter Burke: 38. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if she will review the well-being element of the secondary school curriculum, as advocated by Cycle Against Suicide; if she will reshape and resource it to improve the outcome for students; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [4334/24]

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