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Dublin: 3°C Saturday 23 January 2021

Overhanging trees, gambling and everything else happening in Leinster House today

What’s going on in Leinster House today? Well, as you asked…

Image: Gambling via Shutterstock

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: Leaders’ Questions – Taoiseach Enda Kenny can expect questions on the Budget and other pressing matters of the day from 10.30am.
  • Dáil: DNA Database - Legislation which would allow for the setting up of a national DNA database reaches second stage in the Dáil with Justice Minister Alan Shatter taking opposition parties’ views on the legislation sometime in the late morning.
  • Committees: Gambling – The Gambling Control Bill enters committee stage with the Justice Committee taking submissions from the gambling and gaming industry as well as officials from the Department of Justice from 2pm in Committee Room 2.

Everything else that’s happening in the Dáil

  • After Leaders’ Questions TDs get down to the Order of Business at 10.51am.
  • The final stages of debate on the Gas Regulation Bill 2013 – which splits up Bord Gáis – will be overseen by the Communications Minister Pat Rabbitte when TDs complete the Order of Business.
  • After lunch Public Expenditure and Reform Minister Brendan Howlin takes questions on his portfolio at 2.30pm before Topical Issues at 3.45pm.
  • Fianna Fáil’s private members’ business on the issue of discretionary medical cards will be discussed at 7.30pm before a vote is called prior to the Dáil adjourning at 9pm.

Everything else that’s happening in the Seanad

  • There’s very little happening in the Seanad this week. The Order of Business starts at 10.30am before there is debate on the committee stage of the bill to dissolve the County Enterprise Boards at 2.30pm with Jobs Minister Richard Bruton expected in the chamber.
  • Senators then debate private members business regarding the recognition of Irish Sign Language (ISL) as the preferred sign language of deaf people in the State at 5pm.
  • Matters on the Adjournment are scheduled for discussion at 7pm before the Seanad adjourns for the day.

Everything else that’s happening in the Committees

  • At 9.30am the Transport and Communications Committee meets with the Transport Minister Leo Varadkar in Committee Room 4 to considered forthcoming Transport, Telecommunications and Energy Council of Ministers meeting in Brussels.
  • Before it considers the new Gambling Control Bill, the Justice, Defence and Equality Committee meets in Committee Room 2 at 9.30am to scrutinise a number of EU legislative proposals on data protection with Billy Hawkes, the Data Protection Commissioner.
  • The Education and Social Protection Committee meets in Committee Room 3 at 1pm to srutinise an EU legislative proposal before it engages with the chairman designate of the new education and training authority, Solas, Pat Delaney. After that the National Council for Special Education, the National Parents Councils and Impact will discuss the role of special needs assistants.
  • The Foreign Affairs and Trade Committee meets in Committee Room 1 at 2.30pm to discuss the humanitarian impact of the conflict in Syria with aid agencies including Doctors without Borders, Conern and GOAL.
  • At 5pm in Committee Room 3, the Public Oversight and Petitions Committee will consider several petitions including a petition calling for the removal of an acne drug, the issue of the pension levy and three petitions concerning the height of hedges and issue of overhanging trees from neighbouring gardens. Yes, seriously.

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

Explainer: How does a Bill become a law?

About the author:

Hugh O'Connell

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