Seanad debates

Wednesday, 3 April 2019

An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business


10:30 am

Photo of Gerry HorkanGerry Horkan (Fianna Fail) | Oireachtas source

The way that transition is handled needs to be done very sensitively. Clearly, 90% plus of primary schools are in the patronage of Catholic schools, albeit the parents of many of the pupils in those schools would not necessarily regard them as being Catholics or certainly practising Catholics. The transition needs to be managed very carefully in terms of the way it is processed, whether it be that the junior infants come in under a different ethos and are taken by the existing teachers or new teachers come in to take the junior infants and other teachers transition to other schools. That is a debate that will need to happen.People sent their children there with the expectation of faith formation and with the expectation of Christmas and Easter holidays, St. Brigid's Day and St. Patrick's Day and other religious types of festivals. To be told that it will all be scrapped tomorrow or next year is not the way to go. I do not believe it is good for those who want non-denominational schools or for those who look for faith schools. It is an important point and we should have the new Minister for Education and Skills, Deputy McHugh, to the Chamber to discuss that topic sooner rather than later.

I attended the recent T.K. Whitaker lecture at the Central Bank on the future of money and cash payments and so on. I believe the ATM taken out of a wall last night in the Border region was the 11th in recent times. Four were taken in the Republic of Ireland and seven in Northern Ireland in the past year. I am not saying that we should give in to these kind of people but we need to look at how we deal with cash and with plastic money over time. We need to look at how we bring people who are not very comfortable with banks, for lots of obvious reasons, into a system of using debit cards and being able to handle and manage plastic transactions. We may not like banks but they are required in a modern economy. Payment systems are certainly required. The idea of everybody collecting their pension in cash-----


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