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Ireland Renews Initiative: Free Textbooks for Primary School Pupils for Another Year

Dublin: Today’s cabinet meeting will address several significant proposals aimed at enhancing various aspects of Irish society.

Firstly, Education Minister Norma Foley’s proposal to provide free textbooks to over five million primary school students is under consideration. This initiative seeks to alleviate financial burdens on families, following last year’s provision of free school books, workbooks, and copybooks to 558,000 primary and special school students. Additionally, junior cycle students are slated to receive complimentary books this year, a decision previously announced by Minister Foley.

Furthermore, the cabinet will deliberate on Ireland’s forthcoming presidency of the European Union in the latter half of 2026. Discussions will focus on formulating strategic objectives for this tenure, which will involve hosting between 16 and 20 informal EU ministerial meetings and an informal meeting of the European Council in Ireland. Deputy Prime Minister Micheál Martin is expected to lead talks with ministers to ensure a successful presidency term.

Additionally, the cabinet will review a proposal to establish a new taskforce dedicated to enhancing safety in Dublin city centre, with recommendations aimed at safeguarding both the public and visitors.

Lastly, discussions will ensue regarding the construction of two elective hospitals in Dublin, as outlined by Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly. These hospitals, situated at Connolly Hospital in Blanchardstown and the current site of the Children’s Hospital in Crumlin, will cater exclusively to waiting list patients rather than emergency cases. Each facility is planned to feature up to 25 theatres, minor operating rooms, and endoscopy suites. Similar initiatives are underway in Cork and Galway, with the cabinet having previously endorsed plans for elective hospitals in these regions as well.

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