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Dublin: 6°C Saturday 4 December 2021

Senators seek to close loophole that may aid forced marriages

Senators think two sections in the Family Law Act 1995 need to be updated to protect children. They will debate this and other issues 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: Enda Kenny will be in the firing line of Micheál Martin and Gerry Adams during Leaders’ Questions.
  • 1 pm, Committee Room 3: Representatives from the Archdiocese of Dublin will appear before the Education Committee to discuss the possible reconfiguration of schools that may result in Catholic schools being closed or amalgamated. Not all parents are happy about such a prospect. 
  • 5.15 pm, Seanad: Senators will discuss the need to ensure that children are not forced into arranged marriages. Their Private Members Business motion notes that sections 31 and 33 of the Family Law Act 1995 allow exemptions from the normal rule that parties to a legal marriage must be over 18 years of age.

Everything else happening in the Dáil

  • 9.30 am: James Reilly will be answering the Opposition’s health-related questions.
  • 10.45 am: TDs will debate the State Airports (Shannon Group) Bill 2014, which looks at transferring the ownership of the airport from the Department of Public Expenditure to a new commercial State company, Shannon Group Plc.
  • 12.21 pm: The Order of Business and Pre-European Council Statements will be read.
  • 2.26 pm: Four diverse subjects will come up during Topical Issues.
  • 3.14 pm: Debate will resume on the Shannon Airport Bill outlined above. Focus will then turn to a Bill that seeks to extend examinership to co-operative societies. It is currently only an option for companies.
  • 7.30 pm: Day two of debate on Fianna Fáil’s motion on the beef sector in Ireland. It makes a number of proposals including ensuring that “there are no barriers to the transport of live cattle to Britain directly from this State”.
  • 9 pm: The Dáil will adjourn for the day.

Everything happening in the Seanad

  • 10.30 am: The Order of Business will be read.
  • 11.45 am: Tributes will be made to former Senator Sam McAughtry.
  • Senators Feargal Quinn, Rónán Mullen and Seán Barrett will propose a Bill that seeks to make VHI, which is State-owned, subject to the same rules and requirements as its competitors.
  • 3.15 pm: Senators will then debate the government’s much-discussed Housing Bill - a piece of legislation that will introduce a new Housing Assistance Payment and a scheme where tenants can purchase local authority housing.
  • 7.15 pm: Matters on the Adjournment will finish the day in the upper house.

Everything else that’s happening in the Committees

Transport Committee

  • 9.30 am, Room 4: Representatives from the National Transport Authority will make a submission on how the new Luas Cross City line will impact businesses in the city.

Justice Committee

  • 10.30 am, Room 2: Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald will appear before the committee to discuss the Justice and Home Affairs Council meeting.
  • 2 pm: The second session will focus on E-Conveyancing – the practice of transferring the legal title of property electronically. Afterwards, Amnesty International Ireland will make a submission on the constitutional protection of economic, social and cultural rights.

Foreign Affairs Committee

  • 12 pm, Room 1: Tánaiste and Foreign Affairs Minister Eamon Gilmore will attend the committee’s meeting to discuss the unfolding crisis in Iraq and what happened at Monday’s session of the Foreign Affairs Council in Luxembourg.

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Public Oversight Committee

  • 4.30 pm, Room 3: The committee will discuss four public petitions:

    - The regulation of the legal profession;
    - Examination of the conduct of the Child and Family Agency (formerly the HSE) and its unqualified subcontractors and Director of Advocacy Office;
    - Investigation of medical treatment in Waterford Regional Hospital, the Medical Centre in Kilkenny, Cork University Hospital and the Medical Council of Ireland;
    - Public access to the Dáil and Seanad.

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

About the author:

Órla Ryan

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