From this summer, up to 300,000 children and senior citizens will no longer have to pay to see their GP. The announcement made by Minister Kathleen Lynch will mean real savings for pensioners and families.
Schools are to be provided with additional resources to support children with Down Syndrome following an annnouncement from Minister Jan O'Sullivan. The measure has been introduced in recognition of the length of time it will take to introduce the new resource model recommended by the National Council for Special Education.
[Listen to Minister O'Sullivan speaking about the announcement on RTE Radio 1 this morning.]
Minister O'Sullivan said: "I have had the opportunity over recent weeks to meet with Down Syndrome Ireland and with different groups of parents of children with Down Syndrome. It has been clear to me that the cluster of difficulties which children with Down Syndrome face, require that some additional teaching supports be made available."
The Tánaiste Joan Burton has made a short video for Vote With Us asking viewers to vote with us on Marriage Equality. In the video the Tánaiste talks about a woman she met recently who wants what every Irish parent wants for their child, to be a full and equal citizen in their own country.
We'll share more videos from our Labour reps over the coming weeks as they explain why they're voting Yes in the forthcoming referendum.
(Vote with us is compiling videos from people from all over Ireland, and abroad, who want to share the reasons why they’ll vote YES for equal marriage on May 22nd.)
If in the first week of March, 2011, somebody told us that within four years, we would bring unemployment down to 10%, that economic growth would have gone from minus 2.5% to plus 3.6%, that we would have waved goodbye to the troika, and that we would have introduced a budget with no new cuts, we would probably have questioned their sanity.
Heretofore fringe events at the Labour Party Conference have concentrated on Party sections delivering workshops with panels of guest speakers on topics associated with their area of work or party staff delivering training. While these will continue to be the backbone of conference between plenary sessions, this year the Connolly Café was launched.
Taking place on the Friday night, an impressive panel was moderated by Irish Times political journalist Fiach Kelly, our nighthawks version of a late night panel discussion began on the topic of ‘how social democrats deal with populism’.
As I was going over the Cork and Kerry mountains on my way to the annual conference of the Irish Labour Party I ran into the mother of all rainstorms and the brutal weather that nearly dumped me in the ditch there and then seemed not to be a good omen for the Killarney gathering. Carrying fraternal greetings in my heart and a well filled hipflask in my jacket I battled through and glad I was to have done so.
Speaking to the Irish Times the Tanaiste Joan Burton has said a strong recovery in our public finance will allow for long-term investment in education and infrastructure. Read more in the Irish Times or you can listen back to the interview with the Times's Hugh Linehan from the link below.
On Saturday night the Tánaiste Joan Burton made her first speech as Leader of the Labour Party to conference in Killarney. You can watch her speech back from the video or read it below.
The Labour Party is the party of work and we are getting Ireland back to work
It's a huge honour for me tonight to stand in the footprints of the great leaders who gave heart and soul to this party. Men like Dick Spring and Eamon Gilmore – whose commitment to Ireland’s cause was absolute. Whose character was resolute. And whose dedication to Labour values was beyond dispute. Values shaped so much by the women of our party.
So I take particular pride standing here as the first woman leader of the Labour Party.