An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business

The House has agreed that for the duration of the Covid-19 emergency only, the rapporteur's report of the Order of Business shall not be read out but shall be taken as read. There are two proposals to be put to the House today arising from this week's business. Is the proposal for dealing with today's business agreed to? Agreed. Is the proposal for dealing with tomorrow's business agreed to?

The proposed agenda for the House tomorrow includes statements and questions to the Minister for Education and the Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science. Many of the parties represented in the House expressed the view to the Business Committee that they feel that the overwhelming bulk of the education-related issues the people they represent, namely, their constituents and those corresponding with them, want raised, debated and discussed in the House this week, relate to the brief of the Minister for Education, Deputy Foley, and not so much to the brief of the Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Deputy Harris. Therefore, I would like the agenda for tomorrow to be amended in order that we have questions and answers to and from the Minister for Education for all the time allotted to education, rather than dividing the time in two, which is a ruse on the part of the Government to minimise the time set aside to debate those issues.

I, too, would like to wish everyone a happy new year. I am in the same vein. The great proportion of problems is with the leaving certificate and in the area of special needs education. We should set aside more time for the debate on education issues with the Minister for Education, Deputy Foley, tomorrow.

I am somewhat surprised by that. I believe that it is 135 minutes each for the Minister for Education and for the Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science in respect of the issues under each Minister's responsibility. It is also important that the issues pertaining to third level students in the context of Covid are debated adequately and that questions are asked in relation to that. They have had a very tough academic year because they have been largely online since the beginning of the academic season, so the Minister, Deputy Harris, will be anxious to issue a statement and take questions. I would have thought that 135 minutes each seems generous enough.

It must be pointed out that the notification of this plan was circulated last week and we did not receive any objections at that stage to the programme as set out. Is Thursday's business agreed? It is not agreed.

Question put: "That the proposal for dealing with Thursday's sitting be agreed to."
The Dáil divided: Tá, 25; Níl, 14; Staon, 2.

  • Bruton, Richard.
  • Burke, Colm.
  • Butler, Mary.
  • Carey, Joe.
  • Carroll MacNeill, Jennifer.
  • Chambers, Jack.
  • Costello, Patrick.
  • Crowe, Cathal.
  • Devlin, Cormac.
  • Duffy, Francis Noel.
  • English, Damien.
  • Farrell, Alan.
  • Grealish, Noel.
  • Haughey, Seán.
  • Healy-Rae, Michael.
  • Lahart, John.
  • Martin, Micheál.
  • McAuliffe, Paul.
  • Murphy, Verona.
  • O'Callaghan, Jim.
  • O'Donnell, Kieran.
  • Ó Cathasaigh, Marc.
  • Rabbitte, Anne.
  • Richmond, Neale.
  • Varadkar, Leo.


  • Barry, Mick.
  • Gould, Thomas.
  • Healy-Rae, Danny.
  • Kelly, Alan.
  • Mac Lochlainn, Pádraig.
  • McDonald, Mary Lou.
  • Munster, Imelda.
  • Murphy, Catherine.
  • Naughten, Denis.
  • O'Rourke, Darren.
  • Quinlivan, Maurice.
  • Ryan, Patricia.
  • Shortall, Róisín.
  • Ward, Mark.


  • Connolly, Catherine.
  • Pringle, Thomas.
Tellers: Tá, Deputies Jack Chambers and Marc Ó Cathasaigh; Níl, Deputies Denis Naughten and Mick Barry.
Question declared carried.
Note that in relation to the above division, Deputies Holly Cairns and Jennifer Whitmore inadvertently voted in the seats of Deputies Catherine Murphy and Róisín Shortall, thereby recording votes against the names of those Deputies, instead of recording votes against their own names.