Written Answers. - Sinnott Judgment.

Wednesday, 21 February 2001

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 531 No. 1

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  165.  Mr. M. Higgins  Information on Michael D. Higgins  Zoom on Michael D. Higgins   asked the Minister for Education and Science  Information on Michael J. Woods  Zoom on Michael J. Woods   the 17 points of appeal to the Sinnott Judgment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5053/01]

Minister for Education and Science (Dr. Woods): Information on Michael J. Woods  Zoom on Michael J. Woods  The State's appeal to the Supreme Court in the case of Jamie Sinnott and the Minister for Education and Science, Ireland and the Attorney General is pending and is expected to open at the end of next month. This appeal is being conducted in order to clarify points of law arising from the judgment of Mr. Justice Barr in the case and the appropriate documents of appeal have been [260] lodged in the Supreme Court office. In view of the fact that the Supreme Court now has jurisdiction over this matter it would be inappropriate for me to make any further comment on the issues arising in the case.

I would like to inform the Deputy that the outcome of this appeal will not affect the damages which have been paid to Jamie Sinnott and his mother. These amount to £42,000 to enable Mrs. Sinnott to put in place a home-based applied behaviour analysis programme for her son. Additionally, £15,000 has also been paid to Mrs. Sinnott to cover expenses already incurred by her in providing an education for Jamie.

The Deputy will also be interested to know that the Government has decided to pay all the costs arising from the High Court case and the Supreme Court appeal, whatever the outcome. This is a most unusual step in a case such as this, but it has been taken to ensure that the Sinnott's are not exposed financially in circumstances where the need to have legal certainty on important issues requires an appeal to the Supreme Court.


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