Martin Callinan, Garda Commissioner and Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairi Quinn TD watching a video on cyber-bullying as part of Safer Internet Day 2013 [held tomorrow] in Temple Bar Gallery, Dublin, earlier.
Inappropriate backdrop emoticons are inappropriate. :)
Ronan Costello , of The Union of Students of Ireland, writes:
Attached is an image that was due to be used on posters and masks at a sleep out protest at the Dail this evening. Unfortunately, the Gardai revoked permission despite there being precedent for these protests. The protest was organised because thousands of students are still waiting on essential maintenance grants to come from SUSI, the new grant awarding agency. The 3% cut to the income threshold for the maintenance grant was also to be highlighted.
“The way decision are made in this university is such that a very small number of people, of the staff, in fact 20 per cent of the whole staff make the decisions which affect the rest of the university. That would mean 100 people in all make decisions that affect 10,000.”
Mr [Ruairi] Quinn said that said that the Labour Party always supported gay marriage but that the Constitution “defined marriage”. He said civil partnerships had delivered a certain amount of rights to gay couples. However, his “own personal view” is that it would now be something the Constitutional Convention would look at and make recommendations.
Some of the 300 delegates (representing 250,000 students) at the Union of Students in Ireland annual congress in the Carlton Shearwater Hotel, Ballinasloe, Co Galway, which started today. President Higgins addresses the gathering on Wednesday.
USI president Gary Redmond (above) opened Congress by berating Minister for Education Ruairí Quinn for cancelling his scheduled address at the last minute.
“Minister, why won’t you come an explain yourself?” said Redmond as he asked why Quinn was happy to pose for the signing of a pledge not to raise the student contribution before the general election, but wasn’t prepared to defend the U-turn he made when he got into office.
When is a ministerial Merc not a ministerial Merc.
When it’s an office.
The claim form from the Department of Education specifies that all mileage must be carried out as part of official Ministerial duties.
Asked whether this type of claim was acceptable, particularly in light of Labour’s previously hard-line policy on expenses claimed by Ivor Callely and John O’Donoghue amongst others, one of Mr Quinn’s special advisers said he was working in the car during these journeys.
His spokeswoman said: ”All of Minister Quinn’s claims for expenses and mileage are strictly in accordance with the arrangements outlined by the government.The Minister is often required to interrupt his holidays to attend official functions and undertake government business. In order to carry out his considerable workload at the Department of Education and Skills, the Minister carries confidential official papers in the car and works while on route to his destinations. This is considered to be official travel.“