Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Transport of Schoolchildren.

Thursday, 9 April 1964

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 208 No. 9

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23.

Mr. Gilhawley: Information on Eugene Gilhawley  Zoom on Eugene Gilhawley  asked the Minister for Education if he is prepared to subsidise the transport of children to vocational, technical and secondary schools.

Minister for Education (Dr. Hillery): Information on Patrick John Hillery  Zoom on Patrick John Hillery  I would refer the Deputy to my reply to a similar question on the 5th December, 1963.

Mr. Gilhawley: Information on Eugene Gilhawley  Zoom on Eugene Gilhawley  Will the Minister kindly tell me what were the terms of that reply?

Dr. Hillery: Information on Patrick John Hillery  Zoom on Patrick John Hillery  It was pretty long. It was to the effect that I am not empowered to subsidise transport to vocational schools and I have not any funds at my disposal to subsidise transport to secondary schools.

Mr. Gilhawley: Information on Eugene Gilhawley  Zoom on Eugene Gilhawley  I am not so much interested in vocational schools as I am in technical and secondary schools. Is the Minister aware that transport to schools is subsidised in Northern Ireland and in England and other countries? Is the Minister further aware of what has happened in my constituency, that there are children who are not getting equal opportunity of education due to transport difficulties, that CIE started a bus service leaving Ballina at 7.30 a.m. and arriving in Sligo at 10.30 a.m., which is too early for one school and the children are playing around; that the children arriving in Sligo miss one class or two classes depending on the school they are attending? I should like the Minister to say if he is prepared to accept the principle that [1423] every child in this country is entitled to equal opportunity of education. That is not operative in my constituency.

Dr. Hillery: Information on Patrick John Hillery  Zoom on Patrick John Hillery  The provision of transport is very much a part of the plan for providing opportunities for education in comprehensive schools in these areas where a wide catchment area would have to be used to warrant the provision of any school. So, it is not ruled out altogether.

Mr. T.F. O'Higgins: Information on Michael Joseph O'Higgins  Zoom on Michael Joseph O'Higgins  When will the scheme for comprehensive schools be developed?

Dr. Hillery: Information on Patrick John Hillery  Zoom on Patrick John Hillery  It is being developed at the moment.

Mr. T.F. O'Higgins: Information on Michael Joseph O'Higgins  Zoom on Michael Joseph O'Higgins  Where?

Dr. Hillery: Information on Patrick John Hillery  Zoom on Patrick John Hillery  In the Department of Education. There is a Curricula and Plans Committee.

Mr. T.F. O'Higgins: Information on Michael Joseph O'Higgins  Zoom on Michael Joseph O'Higgins  Meanwhile, what is to happen in Sligo?

Mr. Gilhawley: Information on Eugene Gilhawley  Zoom on Eugene Gilhawley  Would the Minister say whether an area such as this, 44 miles from Ballina as the bus goes, would be suitable for a comprehensive school?

Dr. Hillery: Information on Patrick John Hillery  Zoom on Patrick John Hillery  The comprehensive schools will be in areas where adequate facilities or opportunities are not already supplied, or likely to be supplied, by private enterprise.


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