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Special Committee on Covid-19 Response debate -
Tuesday, 16 Jun 2020

Business of Special Committee

We have been notified that Deputies Farrell, Hourigan, Ó Cathasaigh, Paul Murphy, Boyd Barrett and Tóibín will substitute for their party colleagues today. Are the minutes of 9 and 11 June agreed? Agreed.

I will take the 20 items of correspondence received as noted. Members will have received written submissions for today's meeting.

Did we get anything from the Central Bank?

The Central Bank is not coming in today, it is coming later, on 7 July. Today is the Irish Fiscal Advisory Council and the ESRI.

Is it possible that the questions which went unanswered on which we were to be sent written reply would be flagged, given the quantity of correspondence being received, if the clerk does not mind?

Thanks. There was a written request from Seas Suas to come before the committee regarding childcare. I do not know whether the Chairman agreed to that but I would like to see that group come in.

We have not made a decision yet but we will consider it at the working group on Friday morning.

I ask that my interest be noted.

We will note it. If the Deputy wishes to participate in the meeting on Friday morning, he is welcome. If not, we will note his interest and support for having it in and take it from there.

Following the meeting of the committee's working group last Friday, members have been circulated with the draft programme to the end of July. The following meetings have been agreed. We will have two sessions on Thursday this week where we will resume our examination of the Covid outbreaks in nursing homes and in the afternoon, we will examine the impact of the pandemic on the Gaeltacht areas. The meeting will be addressed by the Minister of State, Seán Kyne. Next Tuesday, we will deal with issues relating to childcare and on Thursday we will have a meeting specifically on testing and tracing capabilities. We are also seeking approval from the Business Committee to have up to six sessions per week which may mean sitting on Fridays and we will start the examination of the return to education, including school transport. Is that agreed? Agreed.

I have arranged for Deputy Mary Butler to chair the second session today, and I will chair the third.