Fianna Fáil Leader Asked What Govt Dept He Wants To Abolish For Education Demand

Fine Gael has asked Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin which government department he would like to abolish to pay for his demand for a new portfolio for higher education.

Criticising Mr Martin, Fine Gael Senator Maria Byrne, who sits on the Education Committee, said she was surprised and confused to hear that the Fianna Fáil leader told an Irish Universities Association conference that he would like to see a dedicated department for higher education and research.

Senator Byrne said: "I was surprised Deputy Martin seemed unaware that higher education is already treated as its own portfolio within the Department of Education with a dedicated Minister who sits at the Cabinet table. The sector also benefits from ringfenced funding.

"I was also confused as to which department Deputy Martin would like to abolish to allow for the creation of this new entity as he didn't say how he would achieve a new higher education department. Perhaps the most recent ones created, the Department of Children or the Department of Rural and Community Affairs? Or maybe one of the other 15 departments?

"There cannot be new departments created without implications for Government. Please, let's hear further or is this just another rash proposal with no thought or planning?

"Deputy Martin and his party colleagues were very vocal in 2016 on their opposition to changes made to existing departments.

"Would he forsake the dedicated portfolio on the welfare and protection of children or the targeted division to promote rural and community development to establish a department which is already catered for," Senator Byrne asked.

Related Irish News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

02 December 2019
Other News In Brief
Cork N20 Collision Sees Woman Airlifted To Hospital A woman has suffered serious injuries in a collision on the N20 Cork-Limerick road. The crash occurred on Sunday 01 December at around 3.30pm at the turnoff for Dromahane, just 1km outside Mallow town. Emergency services, including fire crews and paramedics, attended the scene.
05 December 2019
Charity Urges New TDs To End Homelessness
Four new TDs who entered the Dáil this week have been urged to make ending the housing crisis a key priority, as new figures reveal a record total of 10,514 people homeless. The number of homeless in Ireland has shot up by a staggering 55% since the last general election in February 2016, when 5,811 were homeless.
03 December 2019
Smithstown Light Engineering To Create 60 New Jobs In Co Clare
Up to 60 new jobs are to be created by Smithstown Light Engineering, who are to build a new 40,000 sq ft manufacturing facility in Shannon, Co Clare. Based in Smithstown Industrial Estate in Shannon, Smithstown Light Engineering is a second generation indigenous Irish firm employing 128 people.
24 May 2016
SIPTU Supports Call For Dedicated Dept Of Arts, Culture And Heritage
SIPTU has joined calls for the government to create a dedicated Department of Arts, Culture and Heritage. The union has given its support to a call by the National Campaign for the Arts, following an announcement by the government that it intends to place the arts along with rural affairs and regional development into a new Department.
29 November 2019
New Dedicated Mental Health Phone Line Launched
A new dedicated phone line for mental health has been launched by An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, Minister for Health Simon Harris, and Minister of State for Mental Health and Older People Jim Daly.