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Dublin: 11 °C Sunday 22 April, 2018

Oireachtas agenda: Symphysiotomy, WW2 deserters, and new arrivals

The Dáil’s newest member, Helen McEntee, will be formally introduced to the chamber today.

Helen McEntee will set foot in the Dáil chamber for the first time today.
Helen McEntee will set foot in the Dáil chamber for the first time today.
Image: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland

WHAT ARE OUR politicians doing in the halls of Leinster House? lets you know with our guide to what’s coming up to the Dáil and various Oireachtas committees today.


The day’s business begins at 2pm when Frances Fitzgerald takes Dáil Questions to the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, before Enda Kenny steps in for the first time post-recess to take Leaders’ Questions at 3:15pm.

At around 3:45pm the timetable will nominally move to Questions to the Taoiseach – but first there will be a ceremonial introduction of the Dáil’s newest member, Helen McEntee, whose election took place over the recess. The minor interruption for that will put discussion of four Topical Issues back to around 5:20pm.

Just after 6pm TDs will continue discussing the proposal to offer an amnesty to Irish Army deserters who left to fight in World War II, and then discussions to widen the scope of Science Foundation Ireland – including reforms allowing it to fund advanced research as well as basic work.

At 7:30pm there’s the first of two stints of debate on a bill from Sinn Féín abandons the statute of limitations for symphysiotomy survivors. Some (though not all) survivors want the two-year statute lifted so that they can pursue legal action against those who sawed open their pelvises – purportedly to facilitate childbirth, but realistically leaving them with chronic pain, mobility trouble, and incontinent. Debate adjourns at 9pm and recommences tomorrow evening.

The day’s Dáil business can all be viewed here.


No Seanad today – it gets one more day of Easter holidays before reconvening tomorrow.


There are three committee meetings holding public sittings today:

  • At 1:30pm, the Committee on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation looks at European Commission plans to set up a European retail market, tackle unfair trading practices and update food labelling laws, before hearing from the Small Firms Association and ISME on the problem of the black economy. (Watch here.)
  • The EU Affairs committee hears from officials at the Department of the Taoiseach at 2pm, when they discuss the 2013 update to the National Reform Programme for Ireland. (Watch here.)
  • At 2:15pm, the Environment committee meets Caitríona Walsh, the incoming chairman of the Private Residential Tenancies Board, and then meets insurance industry representatives to discuss the problems offering insurance for homes in flood-prone areas. (Watch here.)

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About the author:

Gavan Reilly

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