Dáil Questions: Education

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Dáil Issues, Education, Oral Questions

To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the steps she has taken to bring science policy within the ambit of her Department, in view of the fact that scientific research, particularly basic research, is something that is inappropriately served, when it falls under the aegis of the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, in view of the fact that the Department, by definition, is committed to short-term job creation, rather than long-term educational goals.

– Clare Daly.

Reply

Minister Jan O’Sullivan

To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the steps she has taken to bring science policy within the ambit of her Department, in view of the fact that scientific research, particularly basic research, is something that is inappropriately served, when it falls under the aegis of the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, in view of the fact that the Department, by definition, is committed to short-term job creation, rather than long-term educational goals.
– Clare Daly.

Reply

Minister Jan O’Sullivan

The Strategy for Science, Technology & Innovation 2006 to 2013 (SSTI) was a broad based strategy which covered funding for research and innovation across all disciplines and across the full continuum of research from basic to applied, as well as commercialisation of research. The Government remains to the further development of our research ecosystem given the key role that it plays not only in underpinning economic recovery and maintaining Ireland’s competitiveness, but also given its centrality to the quality of our higher education system and the broader societal developments that research drives.

As the Deputy will be aware, the process of developing a successor strategy to the SSTI is underway. The formulation of the new Strategy provides a clear opportunity for Ireland to develop a new whole-of-Government strategy for research and innovation that can build on the progress made to date and is timely as Ireland moves into a new phase of economic growth and societal development. An Interdepartmental Committee, under the chairmanship of the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, which has the lead responsibility for science policy, has been tasked with developing proposals
for this new Strategy. I am represented on this Committee by officials from my Department and they are closely engaged with the process. An important element of this process is stakeholder and public consultation and some 75 submissions have been received including from the higher education sector. The issue of future funding for all areas of research will be considered in the context of the completion of this work.


To the Minister for Education and Science

To ask the Minister for Education and Skills when her promised review of the Residential Institutions Statutory Fund, will take place; and if she will consider including a provision to allow funding to be received by children or partners of victims of abuse, in view of the fact that without such funding, particularly for children, it will be very difficult to break the inter-generational cycle of hardship begun by State failures with regard to these persons, and that the awarding of such funding is the biggest need that
some of the survivors have.
– Clare Daly.

Reply

Minister Jan O’Sullivan

Caranua, the Residential Institutions Statutory Fund, supports survivors of residential institutional child abuse in the areas of health, education and housing in particular.  Eligibility for assistance is confined to those who received awards from the Redress Board or equivalent Court awards or settlements.

Eligibility is confined to former residents because of the limited funds available and the potential pool of some 15,000 applicants. To date just over €80 million of €110 million pledged has been lodged to the Fund.  By end-February 2015, Caranua had made payments, valued at €14.8 million, to 1,476 applicants and had received over 4,000 applications.  Applications continue to be received on an ongoing basis.

I intend to consider the question of a review of the Fund’s arrangements later this year by which time a clearer picture should have emerged regarding the uptake of the funding available.