Tuesday, 9 October 2018

Questions (138, 139, 140)

Catherine Connolly

Question:

138. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Education and Skills when the 2017 annual report of Caranua's appeals officer will be published; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41180/18]

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Catherine Connolly

Question:

139. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Education and Skills further to Parliamentary Question Nos. 423 of 20 June 2017 and 33 of 6 December 2017, the allocation of appeals officers at Caranua; the number of appeals officers working at Caranua; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41184/18]

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Catherine Connolly

Question:

140. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Education and Skills his plans to establish a contingency fund in the event that Caranua application decisions are delayed by having to take the case to court or otherwise; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41185/18]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

I propose to take Questions Nos.138 to 140, inclusive, together.

Section 21 of the Residential Institutions Statutory Fund Act 2012 provides for the appointment by the Minister for Education and Skills of one or more than one person to act as an independent appeals officer to consider appeals against decisions of Caranua. Mr Patrick Whelan was appointed as appeals officer in February 2014 and served in that role for a period of some three years. In May 2017, I appointed Ms Geraldine Gleeson and Mr Brendan O’Leary to serve as appeals officers for a one year period. In May 2018, I offered a further period of appointment as an appeals officers to both Mr O’Leary and Ms Gleeson. Ms Gleeson advised that she was not in a position to continue in this role and I acknowledged this decision on 5th July 2018.

The question of appointing a second appeals officer will be kept under review having regard to the level of appeals on hands.

The annual report of the Caranua appeals officers, covering the period May 2017 to April 2018, has recently been laid before the Houses of the Oireachtas in fulfilment of the statutory requirement.

It is a matter for Caranua to ensure that appropriate arrangements are in place to make funding provision for any contingent liabilities that might arise from legal actions or for other reasons.