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Oireachtas agenda: HSE board, translating laws and Greece's bailout

TDs will continue debating legislation to abolish the board of the HSE in the Dáil this afternoon.

Image: Eamonn Farrell/Photocall Ireland

WHAT ARE OUR politicians doing in the halls of Leinster House?

TheJournal.ie lets you know with our guide to what’s coming up to the Dáil, Seanad and various Oireachtas committees today.

DÁIL

The day begins with Leaders’ Questions at 10:30am, with 20 minutes of debate on the day’s agenda whenever that’s done (probably at about 10:55am).

Two pieces of legislation will be considered then: the first an uncontroversial piece of legislation which means the Oireachtas itself (and not the Government) is responsible for translating laws into Irish.

The second, which will be debated from about 12:30pm-ish, is the Health Service Executive (Governance) Bill 2012 – which proposes to abolish the Board of the HSE and create a new management structure ahead of the HSE’s eventual abolition.

Four of the day’s Topical Issues are debated at 3:42pm before Pat Rabbitte ends the week with questions to the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources at 4:30pm.

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

SEANAD

It’s a brief day in the Seanad, where the usual 75-minute debate on the Order of Business begins at 10:30am before two hours of statements on The Gathering and what can be done to make it a success.

After lunch, members come back at 2pm to approve a cut to the interest rate for the Greek bailout (to which Ireland has contributed about €1.2 billion, from before we entered into a bailout ourselves). A few topical issues are discussed at 4:30pm as the day wraps up.

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

COMMITTEES

Three public committee meetings to tell you about today:

  • The Public Accounts Committee holds its usual weekly meeting at 10am – see ‘one to watch’ below – to examine the accounts of various state bodies; today it’s the turn of Enterprise Ireland, whose CEO Frank Ryan will be on hand to answer questions. (Watch here.)
  • An hour later, at 11am, the committee on the Implementation of the Good Friday Agreement will meet the Northern Ireland Prisoner Ombudsman, Pauline McCabe. She’ll discuss the rights of prisoners in the North’s prisons. (Watch here.)
  • Finally, the Finance committee meets at 11:45pm when it discusses the European Commission’s proposals for the EU’s next seven-year budget. Ireland, holding the EU presidency, will be responsible for sorting out the nitty-gritty once the big picture is agreed by heads of state. (Watch here.)

TheJournal.ie‘s one to watch

In keeping with the sombre tone of yesterday’s proceedings – curtailed by the funeral of Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe – it’s a relatively conspicuous day with no major potential for a flashpoint.

That said, the meeting of the Public Accounts Committee at 10am will no doubt produce a handful of interesting titbits – particularly because the start of each weekly meeting sees it deal with correspondence received from the previous week.

Enterprise Ireland will also be worth looking at, given its role in encouraging new business in Ireland – and no doubt some will wonder why the body returned nearly €35 million to the Exchequer in 2011 when it could have used the money for its own important purposes.

Explainer: How does a Bill become a law?

About the author:

Gavan Reilly

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