Seanad debates

Tuesday, 5 March 2024

An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business


1:00 pm

Photo of Malcolm ByrneMalcolm Byrne (Fianna Fail) | Oireachtas source

I am sure the Leader will join me in noting the fact this is a golden period for Irish athletics and, in particular, she might extend our congratulations to all of those athletes who performed so well at the World Athletics Indoor Championships, particularly our female athletes, who are doing this country very proud.

I echo the remarks of Senator O'Loughlin concerning the question of the reinstatement of pupils’ complex needs in the allocation of special education teaching hours. I am somewhat concerned by the changes the Department has made with regard to the removal of what are referred to as complex needs for the allocation of some of these hours, which can impact children with autism, ADHD and Down’s syndrome. While I appreciate this is only going to be in a minority of cases, it may have a specific impact on quite a number of schools and, in turn, on students. The Leader might ask the Minister to specifically clarify that issue.

We are facing a referendum this Friday and very serious issues are being debated. However, there is a lot of misinformation and disinformation being spread out there. I welcome the decision of the Electoral Commission today to call out the disinformation on certain posters. The one I have a bigger concern with is not the one that the Electoral Commission picked out, but people trying to introduce the issue of immigration into this referendum. I am voting “Yes” in both referendums. Nonetheless, I acknowledge that people have valid concerns, particularly on the care referendum, and Senator Tom Clonan has raised very legitimate concerns. However, he is being done a disservice by those who are trying to spread red herrings. I welcome the fact the Electoral Commission is calling out those red herrings.


No comments

Log in or join to post a public comment.