Dáil Issues, Education


To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if the project brief for the building works at a school (details supplied) has been finalised; the commencement date of same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Details Supplied) St Molagas National School Balbriggan


I wish to advise the Deputy that a project for St. Molaga’s National School is included in my Department’s Capital Programme to primarily replace existing temporary accommodation with permanent accommodation. In that regard officials in my Department are currently preparing the project brief which will facilitate the progression of the project into Architectural Planning, including the appointment of a Design Team.  In this context I can confirm that a meeting has been arranged with the school authorities for early February in relation to their project.

In the interim I am pleased to advise that my Department has approved additional temporary accommodation to meet the school’s immediate accommodation needs.

To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the steps he is taking to address the shortage of primary school places in the catchment area of south west Swords with a view to the 2018 enrolments; and his plans to provide a long term solution to the ongoing shortage of places to meet the needs of the community.


In order to plan for school provision, the demographic data for the Swords school planning area, as with other school planning areas nationwide, is being kept under ongoing review by my Department to take account of updated child benefit data and updated enrolment data. It is anticipated that decisions based on these exercises will be announced in the near future.
As the Deputy is aware, there are a total of 11 schools enrolling junior infant classes serving the Swords area, comprising 8 Catholic schools, one Gaelscoil, one Educate Together school and one Church of Ireland school. My Department is aware of the pressure on school places in recent years in the Swords school planning area. In that regard, my Department is monitoring the expected enrollment position in the school planning area with the aim of ensuring that there is adequate accommodation to cater for the demand for places in September 2018.

The Great Trade Up


Features, Uncategorized


It is written that the traditional,

wind-blown, mongrel

who herded us of old

would be traded in

for the one who calls himself

Lion; is in the gym

every a.m. by six, furiously

admiring his pelt

of pure gold.


That a man whose political base

was two elderly brothers who both ate

their excessively buttered spuds

off the same cracked plate

to save on the washing up;

would make way for a guy

who eats his artisanal

cauliflower and pickles

off a bespoke slate

his assistant happily carries

everywhere on his behalf.


And when the word was made reality

the people and their gods

saw it was progress to be rid

of a rural accent best suited

to pub chat about the match

between Galway and Mayo

and before this progress

we bowed and gave thanks.


Far better that next time the person in charge

is forced to broadcast from his (or her) life boat

to tell us that, sadly, we’re all dead,

it be done by one who in the womb

was already solving complex accountancy conundrums;

whose first words were “team of management consultants”

when, about half an hour ago,

he emerged to general applause.


Defense questions


Dáil Issues, Defence, Oral Questions

 To ask the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence if his department has reviewed the recent settlement in a Defence Forces lariam damages case and is giving consideration to a redress and compensation scheme for members of the Defence Forces harmed by lariam in view of the outcome of that case.

Clare Daly T.D.

For ORAL answer on Wednesday, 24 January, 2018.

To ask the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence if the Defence Forces prescribing policy in regard to lariam as the first choice anti-malarial will change in view of the recent substantial settlements in cases here and in the United Kingdom for army lariam damage.

– Clare Daly T.D.

For ORAL answer on Wednesday, 24 January, 2018.


As I have indicated to this House in the past, fundamentally the choice of malaria chemoprophylaxis for use in the Defence Forces is a medical matter that should be decided by qualified medical professionals. In the Defence Forces these are decisions for highly qualified Medical Officers, having regard to the specific circumstances of the mission and the individual member of the Defence Forces.
Read More

Animal Welfare, Arts Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Dáil Issues