Seanad debates

Wednesday, 28 February 2024

An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business


10:30 am

Photo of Tim LombardTim Lombard (Fine Gael) | Oireachtas source

I might come up with something unusual this afternoon. I am seeking a debate on a report that has been published by the Oireachtas Joint Committee on the Irish Language, Gaeltacht and the Irish-speaking Community. Is it appropriate to bring the Cathaoirleach of that committee before the House to debate the report it published in early February? The report had some very unusual findings. It states that the exemption available for dyslexic kids should be taken away. That is a very serious issue for the parents and families of dyslexic children. They are outraged and angered, to say the very least, by that proposal. It is appropriate for the Cathaoirleach of the committee to appear before the House and put the report before us and for Senators to debate the issues aired in the report. I attended and contributed to the hearings of the committee. I do not think the report took into consideration what I said about dyslexic kids and what they need going forward. Frustration among these parents is bubbling at the moment. They are advocating for their kids day and night. They are doing what they can. They are working in a situation where they need more help, but now the media is saying the exemption needs to be taken away. That is not fair on these families or on society. We are trying to give these kids a head start in order that they can go forward in life. We are trying to make sure they can work and survive in society. So much has been done, but this report is a step backwards. I believe the Cathaoirleach of the committee should come before the House to debate exactly what he is talking about in the report, which displays a complete lack of understanding of what is involved in this matter. It is an issue I have raised consistently. I am not jumping on a bandwagon. I have been on this issue for 15 years. I am outraged at the publication of the report. I propose that the Cathaoirleach of the committee come before the Seanad and put the report before the House and we set aside time to debate it.


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