Waterford TDs appointed to key Oireachtas Committees
The Dáil membership of Oireachtas committees has been finalised, with Waterford TDs featuring in a number of key committees.
Independent TD Matt Shanahan will sit on the committee for Enterprise, Trade and Employment; Sinn Féin’s David Cullinane will be a member of the Health Committee; and Green Party TD Marc Ó Cathasaigh will sit on three committees including Social Protection, Education (including Further and Higher Education) and the committee dealing with Gaeilge agus an Ghaeltacht. Deputy Ó Cathasaigh will also, as part of his role as Assistant Government Whip, sit on the Dáil Business Committee and the Dáil Reform Committee.
Oireachtas committees play a key role in the functioning of the Government, scrutinising and amending legislation, overseeing the work of departments, and advising on policy issues.
"As Green Party spokesperson on Social Protection, I felt it was important to have a voice in that department," says Deputy Ó Cathasaigh.
"We are all aware of the impact the pandemic has had on our economy, and protecting the living standards of those who have become unemployed due to Covid must be central to any recovery. This department also deals with Community and Rural Development, which is particularly pertinent to my work in the west of the county."
The former primary school teacher in Tramore also believes the Education committee is a good fit for his professional experience. "My experience in the classroom and my knowledge of the wider education sector means I should be able to hit the ground running in this area. This committee will also oversee Higher Education, and I will be ensuring that the progression of the Technological University for the South East (TUSE) will be placed high on the agenda here."
As the only Irish-speaking TD in the constituency, Deputy Ó Cathasaigh felt it was important that Waterford was represented on the Coiste Gaeilge agus an Ghaeltacht. "It can be easy to forget in the city that Waterford is a Gaeltacht county. In fact, Gaeltacht na nDéise is the only Irish-speaking area that has increased its number of native speakers in recent years. I’ll be hoping to effectively represent their interests and concerns in my work in the Dáil."