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Dublin: 18 °C Saturday 15 August, 2020

Oireachtas agenda: Tobacco prices, further education and promissory notes

It’s the Dáil’s first day back after the winter recess. Here’s what’s in store.

Central Bank governor Patrick Honohan will take questions from the Oireachtas finance committee this afternoon.
Central Bank governor Patrick Honohan will take questions from the Oireachtas finance committee this afternoon.
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 and various Oireachtas committees today.

It’s the first day back for the Dáil after the winter recess, as the majority of TDs follow their colleagues on the Health Committee back to work.


The day begins with Leaders’ Questions at 10:30am, before a couple of procedural motions regarding tax agreements with the the USA and Montserrat (neither of which will be discussed at any length).

The morning will be spent debating the Public Health (Tobacco) (Amendment) Bill 2013, which brings Ireland into line with ECJ ruling on minimum prices for alcohol, and which also gives the Minister for Health the power to issue new guidelines on the sale and marketing of tobacco.

2:30pm will see Eamon Gilmore take ministerial questions, while four topical issues will be discussed at 3:45pm. Debate on the tobacco bill resumes at 4:33pm.

At 7:30pm there’s the first of two 90-minute sessions of debate on a Fianna Fáil motion which demands that the government undo cuts to the Further Education and Training sector. The motion also calls on the government to undertake an impact assessment ahead of any future cuts to the sector.

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


The Seanad is adjourned until next week.


Only two public meetings to brief you about today:

  • At 11:30am the Justice, Defence and Equality committee resumes its discussions on a report on reforming Ire;and’s prostitution laws. Speakers will include Monica O’Connor, a campaigner against women’s abuse, Dr Kathryn McGarry from NUI Maynooth, and representatives from Women’s Aid; Sex Workers Alliance Ireland; and Irish Feminist Network. Watch here.
  • At 2pm, making his first Oireachtas appearance in 10 months, Central Bank governor Patrick Honohan will attend the Oireachtas Finance committee. He’s nominally meant to attend to discuss the economic outlook, and the availability of credit to borrowers, but with the next €3.06 billion promissory note repayment only ten weeks away, that’s likely to come up too. Watch here.‘s one to watch

Patrick Honohan’s last appearance at an Oireachtas committee was shrouded in controversy – and followed a rare government defeat on a motion on whether to invite him (which itself was proposed by FG’s Peter Mathews, who then voted against it).

Honohan shoots from the hip and so his comments about banks and their willingness to lend will be interesting anyway, but given how infrequent his appearances can be, his thoughts on the promissory note arrangements could also be revealing (should he be asked for them).

Read: Governor of Central Bank to discuss state of economy with committee

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Gavan Reilly

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