Reduced travel fares for young people set to be extended - O’Gorman

Children’s minister indicates further reductions in store following 50 per cent decrease in last year’s budget

Minister for Children and Youth Roderic O’Gorman has indicated reduced travel fares for young people are set to be extended in the budget.

Speaking in Dublin today, Mr O’Gorman said the 50 per cent decrease in young adult travel fares introduced last year was continued in Budget 2023.

“I’d like to see it continue,” he said. “I think it’s a really important way in terms of making public transport more attractive to students, but also to young people who are in work or further education”.

Asked if it should be reduced further, he said 50 per cent is a “really significant saving” and that the cost of public transport fares had been cut across the board by 20 per cent. The cut is in place until the end of this year, but Mr O’Gorman’s comments indicate it may be extended again in autumn’s budget for 2024.


Mr O’Gorman was speaking at a National Showcase event held by Comhairle na nÓg – local youth councils which encourage participation by young people in decision making at local authority level.

He said Comhairle na nÓg had been useful for youth assemblies on biodiversity, climate and rural life as a mechanism to get “input from young people into our public decision making”. He said the best example of its input was the budget decision to introduce a half price young adult travel card.

Asked about figures released by the Residential Tenancies Board yesterday that showed over 4,300 tenancies were terminated in the last quarter of 2022, he said the “key thing” was that a very large number of tenancies had ended because landlords were selling up.

He said the Government had designed a “safety net” policy which would allow individuals to buy their home, or have it purchased on their behalf by a Local Authority or Approved Housing Body, when their landlord is selling up.

Mr O’Gorman also confirmed that there was yet another delay in store for the roll-out of modular houses for Ukrainian refugees, which had initially been slated to come on-stream in November, and then by Easter. He said that he now expects the first units to be occupied in late May or early June, with 300 of 700 units planned coming on stream around then. He said there would be around 1,200 Ukrainians accommodated in the 300 units.

Asked about comments by Fr Peter McVerry, who has suggested Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien wanted to extend the eviction ban but was overruled by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, he said he was aware before the Cabinet meeting that the proposal was to remove the ban.

But he said he couldn’t say when he became aware precisely. He said there had been “significant discussion” on the approach in the weeks beforehand and over the weekend, and he said the Green Party had discussed mitigation measures beforehand to allow the creation of the “safety net” policies.

He said he had not seen or heard anything to suggest that Mr Varadkar had overruled Mr O’Brien.

Jack Horgan-Jones

Jack Horgan-Jones

Jack Horgan-Jones is a political reporter with The Irish Times