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Dublin: 15 °C Friday 19 September, 2014

Oireachtas agenda: Criminal records, job creation and childhood poverty

All of that, and the Seanad gets to reform the Dáil… here’s what’s happening today in Leinster House.

Luke 'Ming' Flanagan will seek Dáil time to explain the removal of penalty points from his driving licence.
Luke 'Ming' Flanagan will seek Dáil time to explain the removal of penalty points from his driving licence.
Image: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland

WHAT ARE OUR politicians doing in the halls of Leinster House?

TheJournal.ie lets you know with our guide to what’s coming up to the Dáil, Seanad and various Oireachtas committees today.

DÁIL

The day’s business begins at 2pm when Phil Hogan takes Dáil Questions to the Minister for the Environment, leaving the seat warm for Enda Kenny to take Leaders’ Questions at 3:15pm and the more operational Questions to the Taoiseach at 3:45pm. Four Topical Issues are discussed just after 5pm.

It’s at this point that the schedule could be tossed up into the air: Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan says he’ll be looking to make a speech at 6pm surrounding the issue of his penalty points (and how two of them were removed). However, no official request for speaking time had been made at the time of publication.

Even if Flanagan is given some time to speak, it will only delay the evening’s proceedings for a few minutes: what follows is the resumed debate on the Spent Convictions Bill, which allows minor criminal convictions to be wiped from the record if the convict does not reoffend.

If there’s time before 7:30pm, there’ll also be a quick discussion on the Science Foundation Ireland (Amendment) Bill, allowing SFI to fund applied research as well as basic research.

At 7:30pm there’s the first of two stints of debate on a motion from Sinn Féin, dealing with economic growth and job creation - calling for ‘progressive commercial rates’ and working with the Northern Ireland executive to come up with an all-island approach to the problem. The night wraps up at 9pm.

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

SEANAD

The Seanad’s daily Order of Business discussion gets 75 minutes, from 2:30pm. At 3:45pm members will discuss possible amendments to the legislation behind the proposed new Dáil constituencies (reducing the number of TDs from 166 to 158).

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

COMMITTEES

There are three committee meetings holding public sittings today:

  • At 1:30pm, the Committee on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation meets RGDATA – the group representing independent grocers – to discuss its ominously titled report ‘Nightmare on Every Street: Town Centres, Car Parking and Smart Travel‘ and the problem of black market selling. (Watch here.)
  • At 2:15pm, the Environment committeeexamines EU plans to stop pollution in marine exploration, before meeting representatives from the Irish National Flood Forum to discuss the problems getting home insurance in flood-affected areas. (Watch here.)
  • The committee on Health and Children meets at 5pm to discuss childhood poverty, with Toby Wolfe from Startstrong, June Tinsley from Barnardos, and Stuart Duffin from One Family. (Watch here.)

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