Dáil Éireann - Volume 579 - 11 February, 2004

Written Answers - School Closures.

  233. Mr. M. Higgins asked the Minister for Education and Science if his attention has been drawn to the fact that the Linguistic Institute of Ireland, or Institiúid Teangeolaíochta Éireann, will close as a result of the cessation of funding by his Department from 2004; if he can explain the decision; and if it is justified given that it is Government policy to support the research and development work associated with language and education here. [4253/04]

  Mr. N. Dempsey:At an extraordinary general meeting of ITE, held on 18 July 2003, the company agreed [1613] to initiate a process of voluntary liquidation. The decision was a matter for the members in accordance with their memorandum and articles of association and relevant company law. It was taken prior to the finalisation of my Department's Estimates for 2004 and was not related to financial considerations.

A meeting of the ITE's executive committee on 5 December 2003 agreed a timetable for the appointment of a liquidator, who was subsequently appointed on 9 January 2004. My Department has given a commitment to provide every assistance to the company in giving effect to its decision, in partnership with the staff of the institute. My Department is working closely with the liquidator in this regard. This includes exploring possible arrangements for the continuation of certain research activities previously carried out by the institute.

Also, in the interests of assisting with an orderly wind-up, facilitating appropriate redeployment or other appropriate arrangements for staff in line with general public service policy in these matters and subject to agreement with the Department of Finance. The entitlements of those employees for whom appropriate redeployment arrangements are not made will be determined in accordance with the terms of their contracts. I have asked to be kept informed of progress in these matters.