Tuesday, 8 October 2019
An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business
Senators Horkan, Conway-Walsh, Swanick, Feighan and Ó Ríordáin raised the issue of Brexit. We have asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade or the Minister of State, Deputy Helen McEntee, to come back to the House to have a discussion on the outcome of the forthcoming European Council meeting. Senator Horkan is correct about the importance of the language we use and the tone and tenor of our communications.There are no winners in Brexit. There is no positive outcome. It is important that we continue to understand the importance of Brexit. We need to be prepared for every eventuality. It is a bit like the boy who cried wolf. All businesses and stakeholders must pay attention. If they have not done so up to this point, it is still not too late but they should start paying attention now. We will have this discussion again in due course.
I will be happy for the Minister for Education and Skills to come to the House to discuss the issue of education, which was raised by Senator Boyhan.
Senator Boyhan spoke about the sports capital programme. To the best of my knowledge, it has not been finalised. No allocation has been announced. I understand the points made by Senator Boyhan. The Minister, Deputy Ross, and the Minister of State, Deputy Griffin, will work under the umbrella of the online sports capital registration process, which is commonly known as OSCAR. It uses an independent and transparent scoring system and assessment process or procedure. I remind the House that there are five criteria which merit scoring in sports capital applications: increasing participation; sharing facilities; the socioeconomic scorecard in terms of areas of deprivation; its own funding; and the technical merits of the project. As Members will be aware, the amount of money that has been applied for is four times greater than the amount of money that is available. Almost 2,300 clubs have applied for grants from a pot of approximately €162 million. I assure the House that the process is independent and transparent. As Senators will be well aware, we have a very independent Minister in the Cabinet.