Seanad debates

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Photo of Donie CassidyDonie Cassidy (Fianna Fail)

Senator Healy Eames called for a debate on education. As I have said, the Minister has agreed to come to the House to have what I hope will be an all-day debate on education. I listened very attentively to Mr. Tom Boland being interviewed on the radio this morning. He was very informative and brought us up to date on his views. He is very experienced in the field of education.

Senator Quinn referred to the European Union, State employees and social partnership. I hope the unions, Government and all interested parties return to the partnership talks. The views of the Taoiseach, expressed yesterday, will afford an opportunity for this to take place. The talks comprised the bedrock of our success over the past 20 years. Growth of 7% per year was the order of the day for ten or 11 years. I look forward to the recommencement of the talks because they represent where we will be in the future.

The corrective measures, including those in the budget, were totally necessary, as recognised by everyone, including the EU authorities. We should move on from them, return to the partnership talks and continue making the progress we made over the very many years during which the talks took place.

Senator Corrigan asked for the position on the MMR vaccine to be outlined to the House. She referred to the outbreak of measles, of which I was not aware. I will pass on to the Minister the Senator's views, including her strong concern over the 424 missing children.


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