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Ombudsman for Children's Initiative on Eliminating Child Poverty and Child Homelessness: Statements (23 Sep 2021)

Pauline Tully: I read with interest the A Better Normal report by the Office of the Ombudsman for Children. There are several points I wish to make regarding the report and what it highlights. It is shameful that there is need for such a report. We are supposed to be a civilised society. Although I am not sure that we can ever eradicate poverty entirely, it is frightening that the report indicates that...

Ombudsman for Children's Initiative on Eliminating Child Poverty and Child Homelessness: Statements (23 Sep 2021)

Thomas Gould: In a country with as much wealth as Ireland, no child should have to live in poverty. Social Justice Ireland found that there are 190,000 children living in households experiencing poverty. This is a shocking figure. It is a shame on our country that this is allowed to happen. These children are the real victims of the policies of Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael in the past decade. The...

Ombudsman for Children's Initiative on Eliminating Child Poverty and Child Homelessness: Statements (23 Sep 2021)

Ivana Bacik: I commend the Ombudsman for Children, Dr. Niall Muldoon, and the staff of his office on the publication of the A Better Normal report. It is a very important report and I welcome the opportunity to debate it. I am glad to hear the Minister will meet the ombudsman in the coming weeks to discuss the report. The report points to the need for urgent political and cross-departmental action...

Ombudsman for Children's Initiative on Eliminating Child Poverty and Child Homelessness: Statements (23 Sep 2021)

Seán Ó Fearghaíl: The next speaker is Deputy Funchion, who is sharing time with Deputies Martin Kenny, Buckley, Tully and Gould.

Ombudsman for Children's Initiative on Eliminating Child Poverty and Child Homelessness: Statements (23 Sep 2021)

Kathleen Funchion: I thank Dr. Niall Muldoon and the Office of the Ombudsman for Children for requesting this discussion. Dr. Muldoon has generally been progressive in his role and his office is absolutely excellent in the work it does. We should take every opportunity to discuss issues affecting children, including the impact of the Covid-19 crisis and, in particular, the scourge of child poverty and...

Ombudsman for Children's Initiative on Eliminating Child Poverty and Child Homelessness: Statements (23 Sep 2021)

Martin Kenny: I commend Dr. Muldoon and his staff on the work they are doing. Poverty strikes at the heart of people's lives and is central to the issues we need to resolve in our country. Last Monday, I visited a family in my constituency whose situation is an example of the gaps that exist in the system. There are two small children in this family and the mother has a serious problem with her back...

Ombudsman for Children's Initiative on Eliminating Child Poverty and Child Homelessness: Statements (23 Sep 2021)

Ombudsman for Children's Initiative on Eliminating Child Poverty and Child Homelessness: Statements (23 Sep 2021)

Seán Ó Fearghaíl: I am happy to call on the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, Deputy O'Gorman, to make his statement under Standing Order 55.

Ombudsman for Children's Initiative on Eliminating Child Poverty and Child Homelessness: Statements (23 Sep 2021)

Roderic O'Gorman: I am delighted to speak to the initiative that Niall Muldoon, the Ombudsman for Children, has been progressing over recent weeks. It is a timely debate as we see the impact of our vaccination programme on the levels of Covid-19 in the community and the return of children, young people and young adults to schools and further education campuses. The well-being of children should be a...

Ceisteanna ar Reachtaíocht a Gealladh - Questions on Promised Legislation (23 Sep 2021)

Gino Kenny: A number of weeks ago, the Comptroller and Auditor General briefed the Committee of Public Accounts on the amount the State has spent on personal protective equipment, PPE, over the last 18 months. That spend has amounted to more than €1 billion so far. The Comptroller and Auditor General stated that the HSE has written off €375 million worth of PPE thus far. This is an...

Ceisteanna ar Reachtaíocht a Gealladh - Questions on Promised Legislation (23 Sep 2021)

Stephen Donnelly: I thank the Deputy for the question. Last year, when I came into office, I requested that the board of the HSE conduct a full audit into the PPE that had been purchased because a huge amount of public money was spent at very short notice in extremely difficult circumstances. That audit has been completed and is being considered by the HSE with a view to ensuring best practice. With regard...

Ceisteanna ar Reachtaíocht a Gealladh - Questions on Promised Legislation (23 Sep 2021)

Rose Conway-Walsh: I listened really intently to what the Tánaiste had to say about student accommodation. I also listened to what the Taoiseach said in recent days. He said he was going to keep a close eye on the matter but that there were limits on what Government could do. That tells me, students and their struggling families that the Tánaiste and the Government are completely out of touch with...

Ceisteanna ar Reachtaíocht a Gealladh - Questions on Promised Legislation (23 Sep 2021)

Leo Varadkar: I thank the Deputy. The Government absolutely acknowledges that we have a severe shortage of student accommodation across the country and that for very many students it is unaffordable while for others it is unavailable. There are many reasons for that. Some are long-standing, some relate to Covid and some relate to the big increase in the number of people attending third level education,...

Ceisteanna ar Reachtaíocht a Gealladh - Questions on Promised Legislation (23 Sep 2021)

Catherine Connolly: Like the Tánaiste and all other Members, I did not know about the death of Mervyn Taylor. I extend my sympathy to his family, his extended family and all of his friends. I am sure the Ceann Comhairle will also speak on this.

Ábhair Shaincheisteanna Tráthúla - Topical Issue Matters (23 Sep 2021)

Ábhair Shaincheisteanna Tráthúla - Topical Issue Matters (23 Sep 2021)

Catherine Connolly: I wish to advise the House of the following matters in respect of which notice has been given under Standing Order 37 and the name of the Member in each case: (1) Deputies Brian Stanley and Barry Cowen - to discuss the situation with the National Ambulance Service and the situation in counties Laois and Offaly; (2) Deputy Cian O'Callaghan - to discuss conditions in Gaelcholáiste...

Ábhair Shaincheisteanna Tráthúla - Topical Issue Matters (23 Sep 2021)

Sitting suspended at 1.06 p.m. and resumed at 1.46 p.m.

Ceisteanna ar Reachtaíocht a Gealladh - Questions on Promised Legislation (23 Sep 2021)

Barry Cowen: I wish to raise the matter of the Housing for All document and the commitments contained therein. A section of the document refers to a planning reform Bill that may come before the House. I am particularly conscious of a proposal I put forward earlier this year, the purpose of which was to find a means by which a time limit on the decision-making process of An Bord Pleanála would be...

Ceisteanna ar Reachtaíocht a Gealladh - Questions on Promised Legislation (23 Sep 2021)

Leo Varadkar: I thank the Deputy. The Bill is currently being drafted. It is a priority and the Attorney General in particular is taking an interest in it. One of the things under consideration is exactly what the Deputy has suggested, that is, that statutory timelines are set within which An Bord Pleanála must give its decisions. That is to avoid a situation where a development has been approved...

Ceisteanna ar Reachtaíocht a Gealladh - Questions on Promised Legislation (23 Sep 2021)

Louise O'Reilly: On my behalf and that of my family, I offer my condolences to the family of Mervyn Taylor, and to his friends, colleagues and comrades in the Labour Party. The starting salary for a secretarial assistant is €24,423.37 per annum. I will save the Tánaiste the trouble of working it out; that is below the living wage. As he knows, secretarial assistants are engaged in...

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