English, Damien

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Seanad Éireann Debate
Vol. Nbr.

Disabled Drivers Grant Eligibility

I thank the Senator for raising this matter. I am speaking on behalf of the Minister for Finance who regrets that he is unable to be present owing to other business. He apologises and would have ...More Button

  The Disabled Drivers Medical Board of Appeal is a body under the aegis of the Department of Finance and it is for that reason I am responding to the Senator on behalf of the Minister fo...More Button

  Perhaps I might first outline the recent history of the Disabled Drivers Medical Board of Appeal to provide some background on the functions and remit of this body for the Seanad. Prio...More Button

  In June 2005 the Department of Finance reached an agreement with the National Rehabilitation Hospital to provide two permanent staff for the board, one a full-time administrator and one...More Button

  The board meets for 24 sessions per year, one of which is held at Mercy University Hospital in Cork city, and assesses, on average, 15 appeals per session. The Minister for Finance doe...More Button

  The Senator also raised a second issue which I will bring directly to the Minister for Finance on his behalf, if that is all right.More Button

I again thank the Senator. While I do not have to hand the exact details of the case, as the Department has stated, it keeps all such issues under review on a regular basis. I certainly will feed...More Button

Local Authority Housing Provision

I thank the Senator for raising the issue. I am sorry that neither of my colleagues could be present to respond to the matter. They wished to be present but something came up. More Button

  Social housing is a key priority for me and the Government, especially the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government, Deputy Alan Kelly, and the Minister of State at ...More Button

  In line with the targets set for social housing delivery, the Minister and the Minister of State announced a major social housing construction programmes in May and July this year, with...More Button

  The assessment and allocation process for social housing support takes into account situations where a member of a household has a disability such as in the case outlined by the Senator...More Button

  Section 22 of the 2009 Act also provides that the chief executive may disregard the order of priority given to a household under an allocation scheme where the household is being provid...More Button

  In summary, local authorities have a range of options available by means of which they can address cases of specific need, whether through use of the increased funding for adapting exis...More Button

  The Senator will appreciate that the Minister cannot directly tell the council what to do or to whom it should give a house, but a range of options are available to address cases such a...More Button

The Minister, Deputy Alan Kelly, is sorry he could not be here; he would be if he could. He is aware of the case and I will report back to him. The Senator must appreciate that it is his job to s...More Button

I do not question the fact that the Senator has raised the matter, I am just saying I cannot account for a council's decision not to send an occupational therapist to visit a house. I do not under...More Button

School Staffing

I thank the Senator for giving me the opportunity to outline to the House the position on the support provided for schools with a high concentration of pupils that require language support such as ...More Button

  Teacher allocations are approved annually in accordance with established rules based on recognised pupil enrolment. Schools are very well informed about the rules. Reforms introduced ...More Button

  The criteria used for the allocation of teaching posts for the 2015-16 school year are set out in Primary Circular 0005/2015 which the Senator quoted and which is available on the Depar...More Button

  The school referred to by the Senator has one permanent language support post. The school submitted an appeal under the English as an additional language criterion to the Primary Staff...More Button

  While schools must have at least 20% EAL pupils to apply for a temporary EAL post, not all schools with that percentage of EAL pupils will receive a temporary EAL post. As stated in Ci...More Button

  I thank the Senator for raising the issue and giving me the opportunity to outline the process and bring some clarity to it. If the Senator has additional information we are missing, I...More Button

The Senator asked me if I had all of the figures for all posts in the country. I do not have them, but I will get them. To be clear, on the school mentioned by the Senator, the projected figures ...More Button

  Sitting suspended at 11.20 a.m. and resumed at 11.40 a.m.More Button