Sunday 22 April 2018

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

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

James Lawless

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.

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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