Saturday 23 November 2019

Rabbitte opens 'pet' training project

Ailish O'Hora Public Affairs Correspondent

Communications Minister Pat Rabbitte jokes with Samantha Fowler, left, and Lauren Noble, both from Tallaght, Dublin, at Tallaght Priory Youthreach yesterday.

Communications, Energy & Natural Resources Minister Pat Rabbitte was mistaken for a pet rabbit yesterday -- at his first outing as a member of cabinet.

Mr Rabbitte was opening an early school-leaver college in his constituency of Tallaght when the co-ordinator of the Tallaght Priory Youthreach progamme Paul Curtis explained the confusion.

Before going to work yesterday, Mr Curtis was explaining to his partner that the minister would be officiating later at the centre when his three-year-old daughter Aoife asked: "Are we getting a pet rabbit?"

Mr Rabbitte took the story in his stride while officially opening the project, which caters for 25 students. .

The minister nibbled on biscuits made by students from the catering department of the Tallaght training centre.

Students are offered a wide range of subjects at the centre, including photography and health and fitness.

Mr Curtis said: "In the current economic climate such a service has never been more necessary."

Before he left, Mr Rabbitte joked that the next time he came it would probably be by scooter. "It's a sign of the times with the Government cutting TDs' pay and doing away with ministerial cars and drivers."

A Rabbitte on a scooter -- that'd be a first for Tallaght.

Irish Independent

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