Monday 20 February 2017

Halligan might enjoy the limelight, but skills needs a focused minister

James Lawless

Published 15/09/2016 | 02:30

John Halligan. Photo: Tom Burke
John Halligan. Photo: Tom Burke

I believe I am only the second mathematician to hold office in Fianna Fáil (the first was Dev, so the bar is high!) but when Micheál Martin appointed me spokesperson for Science, Technology, Research & Development, he stressed the importance Fianna Fáil has always attached to the pursuit of excellence in science and research - from the establishment of the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies in 1940, (Schrödinger was amongst its scholars) to the creation of Science Foundation Ireland in 2003.

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Unfortunately, this Government appears to have no such regard.

The closest thing to an opposite number I have is the ubiquitous Minister John Halligan, who is listed on the Taoiseach's website simply as the 'Minister of State for Training and Skills'.

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