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Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland
Dáil Éireann

Oireachtas agenda: Dáil debates abortion as Seanad debates... Seanad

No major votes today though, as Thursday means Eamon Gilmore takes Leaders’ Questions

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 debate on the proposed abortion bill will engulf another day of the Dail’s time, but not before Eamon Gilmore takes Leaders’ Questions at 10:30am and the rest of the day’s agenda is discussed briefly at around 10:55am.

Debate on the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill will continue right up to 4pm, when it’s adjourned to allow three hours on the Prison Development (Confirmation of Resolutions) Bill 2013, which formally allows the construction of a new prison in Cork city.

Four topical issues are discussed at 7pm before Leo Varadkar wraps up the day with questions to the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport.

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

SEANAD

While the Dáil is distracted with abortions, the Seanad is wrapped up with its own existence – with another few hours of debate on the merits of abolishing it (or otherwise).

First, however, there’s the usual 75-minute discussion on the Order of Business at 10:30am and an hour to finalise the Seanad’s consideration of the Health (Amendment) Bill which increases public hospital charges for private health insurers.

The debate on the Seanad abolition, and the referendum to give effect to it, runs from 12:45pm to 3:30pm – when it gives away to proposed amendments on the Central Bank (Supervision and Enforcement) Bill 2011, which beefs up the Central Bank’s supervisory powers.

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

COMMITTEES

Only three committees holding public session today:

  • The Health committee meets at 9:30am to discuss two new plans for European laws, and also the role of public health nurses – a discussion for which it’ll be joined by four HSE and nursing body officials. (Watch here.)
  • The Public Accounts Committee meets at 10am to scrutinise spending at the Department of the Environment and at local authorities. The Department’s chief civil servant Geraldine Tallon will be on hand to answer questions. (Watch here.)
  • Finally, the committee on the Good Friday Agreement meets at noon to discuss cross-border educational collaboration – particularly between the University of Ulster and St Angela’s in Sligo – and the impact of religious sectarianism. (Watch here.)

Explainer: How does a Bill become a law?

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