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Dublin: 14 °C Friday 1 August, 2014

Will this be James Reilly’s last official outing?

The Health Minister is one of a few Cabinet members expected to be undertaking their last official engagements today, ahead of the reshuffle.

James Reilly
James Reilly
Image: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

WHAT’S GOING ON in Leinster House?

Every day the Dáil and Seanad are sitting, TheJournal.ie brings you the most comprehensive guide to what our lawmakers are getting up to in the Houses of the Oireachtas.

So, here is what we can expect to be happening in the Dáil, Seanad and Committee rooms today…

3 things we’ll be keeping an eye on

  • Dáil: Could this be Richard Bruton’s last Q&A session in the jobs portfolio? Maybe. There’s be strong speculation that he could be moved to replace James Reilly at the helm of the Department of Health. 9.30am
  • Committee on Health and Children: Meanwhile… Could this be James Reilly’s last hurrah? The embattled Minister will be answering questions on the work of the Department, alongside his two junior ministers Kathleen Lynch and Alex White. Committee Room 2, 9.30am.
  • Dáil: Whatever about the above, it will definitely be Joan Burton’s first Leader’s Questions as Tánaiste. She’ll be facing the usual barrage of accusations and derisory observations from across the floor at midday.
  • Public Accounts Committee: The work of the high-profile PAC is always worth paying attention to… Members begin with a discussion on the ongoing work of the Committee, before moving on to look at garda finances, notably the 2012 Comptroller and Auditor General Report on officers’ salaries and expenses. The outsourcing of garda speed cameras will also be under the spotlight and Acting Commissioner Noirín O’Sullivan will be in the room to face questions. 10am, Committee Room 3. 

Everything else happening in the Dáil

  • After Leader’s Questions, work continues on two pieces of legislation: the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland Bill 2014 and the Forestry Bill 2013. TDs will also be discussing a motion on ‘guidelines for the employment of young workers in the fishing industry’. 
  • From 4.42 (set your alarms) it’s Topical Issues, whereby members raise issues they consider to be of concern to constituents with the relevant minister (much to the surprise of the nation, Garth Brooks wasn’t mentioned during this time-slot yesterday). Work then continues on the afternoon’s legislative work, before the chamber adjourns for the night. 

Everything happening in the Seanad

The day’s work begins at 10.30am, and members will be working on the following throughout the day:

Once that’s concluded, members close out the day with their own version of the Dáil’s Topical Issues timeslot — Matters on the Adjournment.

Everything else happening in the committees 

There’s just three meetings today, and we mentioned two already.

In addition to the PAC and Health committee meetings, the agriculture panel will also be holding a hearing on the Horse Racing Ireland (Amendment) Bill.

Here’s committee chairman Andrew Doyle’s take on what will be happening:

We will continue pre-legislative scrutiny on what is an important piece of legislation for Ireland’s horse racing industry. In amending and extending a number of Acts, the Bill sets out to reform the role and functions of Horse Racing Ireland (HRI), which is the governing body of horse racing on the island of Ireland. Following detailed discussion with Department Officials last week, we look forward to engaging with stakeholder representatives on the Bill.

(Note: The GAA, Dublin City Council and Aiken Promotions have all be invited to a committee meeting on the Garth Brooks fiasco. It had initially been mooted for today, but, considering everyone involved is busy phoning the Mexican ambassador and the White House, may have to be put off for a bit.)

Here’s how to watch what’s going on in Leinster House today:

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