Minister needs to come into the Dáil and answer specific questions about schools reopening

Aodhán Ó Ríordáin TD
23 July 2020

The Minister for Education needs to come into the Dáil and answer specific questions about the reopening of schools according to Labour Education Spokesperson Aodhán Ó Ríordáin.

Ó Ríordáin was speaking after Tánaiste Leo Varadkar refused to confirm to Labour Leader, Alan Kelly during Leaders Questions that Minister Norma Foley would come into the Dáil to answer questions specific to the reopening of schools.

Deputy Ó Ríordáin said:

“School’s are due to reopen in little over a month and we have heard precisely nothing from Minister Foley in terms of a blueprint for how the reopening will be facilitated and what financial package the Department will put in place to support reopening.

“By contrast her Cabinet Colleague at the Department of Higher Education, Minister Simon Harris has announced a roadmap for Higher Education, including clarity around two metre social distancing locked in and a financial package for third level institutes.

“Minister Foley needs to come into the Dáil next week for an additional question and answer session in order to answer questions specific to the reopening of schools. Schools are due to reopen in little over a month and Minister Foley has not given any indication as to how the reopening will be facilitated.

“Parents, students and school management need clear guidelines and a comprehensive package of financial support. They have been treated like an afterthought by this Minister. An enhanced minor works scheme alone as has been touted ahead of the July stimulus will simply not cut it.

Deputy Ó Ríordáin continued:

“Minister Foley needs to stop hiding in the Department conducting private briefings and issuing press releases. Her conduct in failing to inform the Dáil about the delay in issuing Leaving Cert results last week was disgraceful and in breach of her obligations to the house as a Minister. She needs to come into the Dáil again in addition to taking departmental oral questions and answer specific questions members have about schools reopening.

 

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