Senator Robbie Gallagher has commended the work carried out by the Irish Heart Foundation’s CPR 4 Schools Programme but called on the Department of Education to take the lead on training teachers with these skills.

Senator Gallagher said “I would like to acknowledge and congratulate teachers and students in secondary schools in counties Monaghan and Cavan who have signed up for the Irish Heart Foundation’s CPR 4 Schools programme.

“Every year new pupils and teachers graduate from programmes like this with lifesaving skills. However, the training must not be supplemented by the charity sector. This is something that the Department of Education should be taking the lead on and provide training.

“This is one of the reasons why I introduced both the First Aid and Mental Health in Schools (Existing Teachers) Bill 2018 and First Aid and Mental Health in Schools (Initial Teacher Training) Bill 2018 a couple of weeks ago. Both Bills deal with first aid, mental, and physical health in schools.

“I look forward to the debate and hope to see the Bills get cross party support at the next stage. The actions of teachers in Monaghan and Cavan highlight the need for a more comprehensive First Aid provision to be undertaken in schools and I call on the Minister for Education to take the lead in this hugely important area, which has the potential to save lives,” concluded Senator Gallagher.