Dáil Éireann - Volume 420 - 27 May, 1992

Written Answers. - School Transport.

126. Mr. Howlin asked the Minister for Education if his attention has been drawn to the fact that (a) 12 children from County Wexford who have varying degrees of mental and physical handicaps and who attend various schools in County Waterford are transported by way of a minibus to New Ross, then transferred to a larger bus which takes them to their schools, (b) this involves long hours of travelling which causes unnecessary hardship to both the children and their parents and (c) the journey could be shortened considerably if these children could be taken directly to Waterford by minibus via the Ballyhack/Passage East ferry; if he will ensure that arrangements for ferry transport for these children are made immediately; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Minister for Education (Mr. S. Brennan): My Department, in consultation with Bus Éireann, has examined the possibility of using the Ballyhack/ Passage East ferry to shorten the journey for the children attending special schools in Waterford.

According to the details available to my Department, only six pupils would benefit from the ferry service and the [744] proposal could not have been justified on the basis of the additional cost involved.

However, should the Deputy provide me with details of the twelve children to which he refers, I will arrange to have the matter examined further.