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Dublin: 9 °C Friday 26 April, 2019
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Oireachtas agenda: CIE's financial woes and Irish troops in Syria

Representatives from Bus Éireann, Iarnród Éireann and Dublin Bus will meet the Transport committee ahead of the possibility of further strike action.

CIE's debt will be discussed today at the Transport Committee
CIE's debt will be discussed today at the Transport Committee
Image: Mark Stedman/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

After Leaders’ Questions with Taoiseach Enda Kenny at 10.30am, four motions will be heard without debate. Two of these are from Europe and relate to Fight Against Fraud and Europol.

The first to get a debate will be the proposal to deploy members of the Defence Forces to Syria as part of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) – click here to find out how many troops could be heading over.

After this there will be two and a half hours for the final stages of a Bill which would reduce the number of MEPs from 12 to 11, an hour for Seanad amendments on the Bill which would allow for home repossessions, and then two hours for one which would ensure rent supplements are paid only on properties that are properly registered with the Private Residential Tenancies Board.

Before Topical Issues at 7pm, there’s an hour for statements on a report by the Constitutional Convention.

Watch out for Justice, Equality and Defence Minister Alan Shatter who is due in at 7.48pm to answer some written questions. After that, it’s all over, the Dáil rises for the summer recess.

You can watch it all here.

SEANAD

From 10.30am, and just like what is planned in the Dáil, those two European issues are back from committees and will not be debated. The Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill is never far away, and at 11.45am it will move to its penultimate stage before the final vote.

At 2.15pm, legislation which would charge private in-patient services in public hospitals is back from committee stage. Some believe it could lead to the closure of hospitals due to the extra charges.

Later at 3pm another report will be on the table, Courts and Civil Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2013. Originally the Courts Bill 2013, it would allow for higher sums to be awarded in District and Circuit Courts and would alter the in camera rule.

The last of item of the day will be four Senators speaking for 4 minutes on a topic of their choosing at 4pm. Maybe four is the Seanad’s lucky number.

Watch the Seanad here.

COMMITTEES

  • How Ireland got on with the Common Agriculture and Fishery policies during our presidency of the European Union will be discussed by Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney at 9.30am in Room 4 (Watch it here). Did you see what the Minister said to TheJournal.ie reporter Michelle Hennessy after recent developments on the horsemeat scandal?
  • Another Minister will be floating around the committees at 9.30am in Room 2 when Minister for Children Frances Fitzgerald gives an update on issues relevant to her Department. (Watch it here)
  • The Public  Accounts Committee will be kept busy in Room 1. At 10am the spending by the Valuation Office is up for analysis. They spent a total of €7,132,000 in 2011 – you can read the nitty-gritty of it here. Two hours later at 12pm a report on the Supplementary Welfare Allowance is up for discussion. This is a social welfare payment received in the form of rent or mortgage interest supplement. It is also paid to those awaiting a decision on some payments. (Watch it here)
  • In Room 3 at 10am, a petition from a number of unions and officials from two government departments will be heard by the Public Service Oversights and Petitions committee. The petition addresses concerns regarding the Employment Appeals Tribunal. (Watch it here)
  • CIE’s financial situation will be discussed  by the Transport and Communications committee at 2.30pm in Room 4. This comes just a week after SIPTU workers in Dublin Bus balloted to strike if changes to employment terms and conditions are implemented without agreement. (Watch it here)

Explainer: How does a Bill become a law?

Column: Leinster House can seem impenetrable to the average citizen.

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Nicky Ryan

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