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Saincheisteanna Tráthúla - Topical Issue Debate: Passport Services (21 Oct 2021)

Bernard Durkan: The Deputy is out of order.

Saincheisteanna Tráthúla - Topical Issue Debate: Passport Services (21 Oct 2021)

Matt Carthy: No, that is outrageous. It is not what I asked about. A Deputy has raised genuine questions and he is getting an answer to a question he did not ask.

Saincheisteanna Tráthúla - Topical Issue Debate: Passport Services (21 Oct 2021)

Bernard Durkan: Deputy, if you do not allow the Minister of State to answer, I will move on and there will be no answer.

Saincheisteanna Tráthúla - Topical Issue Debate: Passport Services (21 Oct 2021)

Malcolm Noonan: I ask the Deputy to allow me to conclude. I know the response I am giving in my concluding remarks does not give him the answer he requires. Certainly, I will take these matters back to the Minister and the Department. The Deputy made his case very well on behalf of the applicants. It is deeply upsetting for families when they are making plans and travel arrangements. I said in my...

Saincheisteanna Tráthúla - Topical Issue Debate: Local Authorities (21 Oct 2021)

Local Authorities

Saincheisteanna Tráthúla - Topical Issue Debate: Local Authorities (21 Oct 2021)

Éamon Ó Cuív: Gabhaim buíochas leis an Aire Stáit as teacht isteach cé go bhfuil díomá orm nach bhfuil an tAire Tithíochta, Rialtais Áitiúil agus Oidhreachta anseo anocht. The problem with the current system of distribution of the equalisation fund is that it is neither open and transparent nor equitable. Persistent questions from me over the years have failed to...

Saincheisteanna Tráthúla - Topical Issue Debate: Local Authorities (21 Oct 2021)

Malcolm Noonan: I thank the Deputy for giving me the opportunity to outline the Government's supports for local authorities, with particular reference to Galway county. As the local authority budgetary period will shortly be under way, my Department has notified Galway County Council and all other local authorities of local property tax allocations for 2022 and of a separate allocation as a contribution...

Saincheisteanna Tráthúla - Topical Issue Debate: Passport Services (21 Oct 2021)

Malcolm Noonan: I sympathise with the family's circumstances. It is a very difficult case. I offer the following response on behalf of the Minister for Foreign Affairs. As the Deputy will be aware, the operations of the passport service were severely disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic, as were many other Government services. Emergency passport services were maintained during the pandemic, which...

Saincheisteanna Tráthúla - Topical Issue Debate: Passport Services (21 Oct 2021)

Matt Carthy: I am disappointed the Minister, Deputy Coveney, is not here. I thank the Minister of State for his response, although it was not even up to date. I am dealing with a family who are due to travel on Thursday next. They have been told their baby's passport will not issue in time, even though it will have been in the system for eight weeks. My office was told earlier by the special helpline...

Saincheisteanna Tráthúla - Topical Issue Debate: Passport Services (21 Oct 2021)

Malcolm Noonan: The Passport Office continually examines how to improve processing times, including by examining the process for the verification of supporting documentation for first-time applicants and addressing delays that have been experienced by customers as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and the high demand seen in recent months as international travel has resumed. There has also been an ongoing...

Saincheisteanna Tráthúla - Topical Issue Debate: Passport Services (21 Oct 2021)

Matt Carthy: With respect to the Minister of State, he is not answering the question.

Child and Family Agency (Amendment) Bill 2021: Second Stage (Resumed) (21 Oct 2021)

Question put and agreed to.

Child and Family Agency (Amendment) Bill 2021: Referral to Select Committee (21 Oct 2021)

Child and Family Agency (Amendment) Bill 2021: Referral to Select Committee (21 Oct 2021)

Roderic O'Gorman: I move: That the Bill be referred to the Select Committee on Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, pursuant to Standing Orders 95(3)(a) and 181(1).

Child and Family Agency (Amendment) Bill 2021: Referral to Select Committee (21 Oct 2021)

Question put and agreed to.

Saincheisteanna Tráthúla - Topical Issue Debate (21 Oct 2021)

Saincheisteanna Tráthúla - Topical Issue Debate: Passport Services (21 Oct 2021)

Passport Services

Saincheisteanna Tráthúla - Topical Issue Debate: Passport Services (21 Oct 2021)

Matt Carthy: The Acting Chairman will know that one of the most bizarre aspects of Irish politics is the engagement that elected representatives often have with the passport service and it is not something that I am terribly comfortable with. I should make it clear that people should not have to contact their Deputies to get their passport on time. In my experience, those who do get in touch with me on...

Child and Family Agency (Amendment) Bill 2021: Second Stage (Resumed) (21 Oct 2021)

Sorca Clarke: I recognise that a lot of the Bill is an exercise in housekeeping. Do I think what is being proposed is perfect? No, I do not, to be very honest. It represents a real opportunity that will need to be monitored carefully. The return of the educational welfare service, the school completion programme and the home liaison scheme to the Department of Education makes common sense. Sometimes...

Child and Family Agency (Amendment) Bill 2021: Second Stage (Resumed) (21 Oct 2021)

Roderic O'Gorman: I thank all Deputies for their contributions today and yesterday and for the detail in which they have looked at the Bill. Some of the contributions have focused very much on the legislation. Some of them have been on broader issues that are relevant to the work of the Department, other Departments and the work of State agencies. I acknowledge the case that Deputy Boyd Barrett brought...

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