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Post-European Council Meetings: Statements (22 Jul 2020)

Thomas Byrne: Of course.

Post-European Council Meetings: Statements (22 Jul 2020)

Thomas Byrne: I thank both Deputies for the questions. Deputy Brady's question on the national recovery and resilience plans is very helpful. With the greatest respect, I have to say that there has been a lot of confusion about this issue today. To obtain the grants, member states are required to prepare national recovery and resilience plans setting out their reform and investment agendas for the years...

Post-European Council Meetings: Statements (22 Jul 2020)

Thomas Byrne: Yes, but I am answering the questions. Some issues have been put forward that are not correct. I want to be very clear about the Common Agricultural Policy, CAP, and I will answer Deputy Marian Harkin's question in this context. The CAP budget for Ireland is protected. Damaging cuts were originally proposed during the negotiations and they have been reversed. The starting point back in...

Post-European Council Meetings: Statements (22 Jul 2020)

Thomas Byrne: Can I just answer the last question?

Post-European Council Meetings: Statements (22 Jul 2020)

Thomas Byrne: I thank Deputy Brady for giving way. I fully accept the bona fides of Deputy Healy-Rae raising this issue. Taxpayers' money is a very important issue. He is right to be cautious, as the Government is also, but that does not fall under my area of responsibility in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. It is an issue for the Department of Health. I will pass on Deputy Healy-Rae's...

Post-European Council Meetings: Statements (22 Jul 2020)

Thomas Byrne: Gabhaim buíochas le gach duine as an seans an buiséad agus na rudaí tábhachtacha seo a phlé inniu. I want to thank everybody who has come into the Chamber today to discuss the particular issues. Different views have been expressed, and some have been put forward in the best-----

Saincheisteanna Tráthúla - Topical Issue Debate: EU Bodies (21 Jul 2020)

Thomas Byrne: Since taking up office as Minister of State with responsibility for European affairs, I have met my officials on this issue. It is a priority to address the decreased number of Irish people working in the institutions. With that in mind, I have had extensive meetings on this to continue to develop the strategy that is already under way thanks to my predecessor. I have arranged a number of...

Saincheisteanna Tráthúla - Topical Issue Debate: Data Protection (21 Jul 2020)

Thomas Byrne: As I outlined, the Government is fully committed to the highest standards of data protection being in place for the benefit of Irish and other EU citizens. The Minister, Deputy McEntee, supports the entitlement of people across the EU to exercise their rights of data protection. However, the independence of our courts and the European Court of Justice must be respected, as must the...

Saincheisteanna Tráthúla - Topical Issue Debate: EU Bodies (21 Jul 2020)

Thomas Byrne: I thank the Deputy for raising this issue. As he is aware, dealing with this issue is a key commitment of the programme for Government and, in fact, a key personal commitment of mine. It is an issue I identified early on as one I wish to champion in my role. I am glad that the Deputy is singing from the same hymn sheet, as I knew he would. Ireland's membership of the EU brings with it...

Saincheisteanna Tráthúla - Topical Issue Debate: Data Protection (21 Jul 2020)

Thomas Byrne: It is very nice to be back on this side of the House after almost ten years. I am glad to be responding to this matter on behalf of the Minister for Justice and Equality. It is a very important case. The Deputy has mentioned the implications for Ireland's data protection regime of the recent judgement of the European Court of Justice on the EU-US privacy shield. I welcome the opportunity...

Written Answers — Department of Education and Skills: School Transport (7 Jul 2020)

Thomas Byrne: 438. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills when a person (details supplied) will receive a refund of school transport fees. [14238/20]

Written Answers — Department of Education and Skills: School Staff (30 Jun 2020)

Thomas Byrne: 129. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if a school (details supplied) will lose a teacher for the school year commencing in September 2020. [12810/20]

Written Answers — Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport: Covid-19 Pandemic Supports (30 Jun 2020)

Thomas Byrne: 657. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if financial assistance will be put in place for self-employed taxi drivers in view of the impact of Covid-19. [12699/20]

Reopening of Schools and Summer Provision 2020: Statements (24 Jun 2020)

Thomas Byrne: I would have been happy to let the Minister continue because some of the stuff is important for parents to hear but that is the decision.

Reopening of Schools and Summer Provision 2020: Statements (24 Jun 2020)

Thomas Byrne: Tá mé ag roinnt mo chuid ama leis na Teachtaí Browne agus McAuliffe. The issue of social distancing in school, which the Minister has addressed, is obviously a key issue and a key determinant of what happens physically in schools when children go back. The second issue, about which we have not heard a huge amount and about which we need to hear more in general, concerns the...

Reopening of Schools and Summer Provision 2020: Statements (24 Jun 2020)

Thomas Byrne: Yes. I have asked previously that good-quality expert academic research be done on the learning losses, which I see and that we all know of anecdotally, over the last number of weeks and months in order that teachers and the State know in September what is the position regarding children. Most people would say there has been a learning loss. I believe it is obvious. While some people...

Reopening of Schools and Summer Provision 2020: Statements (24 Jun 2020)

Thomas Byrne: It should be a primary function of the Department to carry out this research fairly urgently. We have had limited research but I know that it is being carried out by some people. The emerging evidence from the UK is that pupils working from home are doing a lot less learning than was previously thought. That is despite the best efforts of all involved: teachers, parents and children...

Written Answers — Department of Education and Skills: School Equipment (16 Jun 2020)

Thomas Byrne: 188. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the two mechanisms for aggregate purchase orders for laptops for schools under centralised bulk provisioning processes under way in his Department; if schools have received equipment through this process to date; the number and type of equipment received; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10647/20]

Written Answers — Department of Education and Skills: Special Educational Needs (16 Jun 2020)

Thomas Byrne: 189. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the status of the scheme being developed to replace the July provision in 2020; if it will commence in July; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10648/20]

Written Answers — Department of Education and Skills: Third Level Education (16 Jun 2020)

Thomas Byrne: 190. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the estimated loss in funding for higher education institutions, research funding through institutions and loss in income from student accommodation likely in 2020 and 2021 for universities, institutes of technology, further education colleges and English language schools; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10649/20]

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