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Dublin: 15°C Thursday 28 October 2021

Could a levy on alcohol help suicide prevention?

Senators think it could raise €200 million a year to help improve mental health services. They’ll be discussing this and several other topics today.

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

  • 12 pm, Dáil: Micheál Martin, Gerry Adams and a member of the Technical Group will have Enda Kenny in their sights during Leaders’ Questions.
  • 12 pm, Committee Room 2: Minister Frances Fitzgerald will appear before the Justice Committee to discuss the establishment of ‘Eurodac’ - a system that would enable countries to compare the fingerprints of asylum seekers and some categories of illegal immigrants.
  • 5 pm, Seanad: Fianna Fáil senators Marc MacSharry, Terry Leyden and Darragh O’Brien think that adding a levy to alcohol purchased on licensed premises but intended for consumption at home could net €200 million annually to help fund suicide prevention programmes and mental health treatment. As such, they are looking to establish the ‘Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Levy Fund’.

Everything else happening in the Dáil

  • 9.30 am: Joe Costello, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, will be answering questions from his fellow TDs.
  • 10.45 am: Three Bills will be discussed:
  • - The first seeks to dissolve the Competition Authority and the National Consumer Agency and transfer their functions to a new body: the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission. The Bill also looks at amending the law in relation to media mergers and updating grocery sector regulation.
  • - Health Minister James Reilly’s much-discussed Bill to introduce plain packaging for cigarettes will be examined.
  • - Focus will then turn to the Merchant Shipping (Registration of Ships) Bill 2013.
  • 12.21 pm: The Order of Business will be read.
  • 12.52 pm: Members of the lower house will discuss the recent European Council meeting.
  • 3.16 pm: TDs will ask a relevant government minister about a number of Topical Issues.
  • 4.04 pm: Morning Business will be concluded.
  • 7.30 pm: Sinn Féin will table a motion on mental health that calls on the government to “ensure a consistent high standard of care and support for all requiring access to mental health services”.
  • 9 pm: The Dáil will adjourn.

Everything happening in the Seanad

Everything else that’s happening in the Committees

Communications Committee

  • 9.30 am, Room 4: Communications Minister Pat Rabbitte will attend a meeting to discuss Broadband provision throughout the country. 

Foreign Affairs Committee 

  • 2.30 pm, Room 1: His Excellency Dan Mulhall, the Irish Ambassador to Great Britain, will address the committee on relations between Ireland and the UK – which are considered to be at an historic high following President Michael D Higgins’s State visit to England in April.

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

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About the author:

Órla Ryan

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