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Dublin: 11 °C Thursday 5 December, 2019

Oireachtas agenda: Magdalenes, mortgages and Budget Bill

The Dáil will debate the Magdalene Laundries report, and begin debating the Finance Bill, later today.

Marina Gambold and Maureen Sullivan, who worked in Magdalene Laundries, outside Leinster House last week.
Marina Gambold and Maureen Sullivan, who worked in Magdalene Laundries, outside Leinster House last week.
Image: Niall Carson/PA Wire

WHAT ARE OUR politicians doing in the halls of Leinster House? lets you know with our guide to what’s coming up to the Dáil, Seanad and various Oireachtas committees today.


Leo Varadkar gets the ball rolling at 2pm with Questions to the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, ahead of followed by Leaders’ Questions at 3:15pm and an hour of Questions to the Taoiseach right afterwards. Topical Issues are discussed shortly after 5pm.

At about 6pm the Dáil will begin discussing the contents of the inter-departmental report into State involvement in the Magdalene Laundries – with a government apology for the survivors expected to be announced at the beginning of the 2-hour-15-minute debate. (See ‘One to watch’ below.)

At 8:15pm there’s the first of two 90-minute sessions of debate on Sinn Féin’s motion calling for more direct action to relieve the mortgage crisis – while at 9:45pm there’ll be the first two hours of discussion on the Finance Bill, which gives legal effect to the tax measures of the Budget. The day ends at 11:45pm.

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


It’s a relatively quiet day in the Seanad: the usual 75-minute free-for-all during Order of Business (2:30pm) is followed by discussion on proposed amendments to the Taxi Regulation Bill, which proposes new measures like fines for fare-gougers.

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


There are only two committee meetings holding public sittings today:

  • The Committee on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation gets the day going at 1:30pm as it hears from Open Ireland, who have composed a report on the ICT skills demanded by employers in Ireland and the ones which are possessed by the general public. (Watch here.)
  • At 2pm, the committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine continues its discussion on the use of commonage lands and plans to encourage the most eco-friendly practices on farms. This week the input comes from the Department of Agriculture and the National Parks and Wildlife Service. (Watch here.)‘s one to watch

It’s difficult to look beyond the discussion of the Magdalene report at 6pm in the Dáil. While most of the survivors’ groups have predicted a full government apology, of perhaps more interest will be the details (if any) of a possible redress scheme.

Indeed, on that note it’ll be interesting to watch whether the apology is qualified or worded in such a way as to not immediately open the door for the State to be left with a compensation bill.

Explainer: How does a Bill become a law?

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About the author:

Gavan Reilly

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