Tuesday, 14 May 2019
An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business
I second Senator Ruane's proposed amendment to the Order of Business.
The issue I want to raise is the spiralling cost of insurance. I know that it has been discussed in the House, but it is urgent. Last week we heard, for example, that the Ballina Salmon Festival was not being run this year because of the high cost of insurance. Just today I was contacted by the principal of St. Teresa's special school in Ballinasloe and told that the cost of insurance had risen last year from €3,221 to €19,199, a colossal increase. The school contacted the school governance board and the database section of the Department of Education and Skills, but it got nowhere. It used money it had fundraised to meet the bill, but on Friday last it received an email from the patron to say Allianz Insurance's quote for this year had risen again, this time to a staggering €26,317. The Department suggested the school try to negotiate with the insurance company and offer to pay in monthly or other instalments, but the insurance company flatly refused to negotiate with the school and stated it had two days to make up its mind. The school made up its mind, but it has no way of paying the cost of the insurance. It is going to have to close. The issue is really urgent and I ask the Leader to raise with the Minister for Education and Skills.