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Dublin: 3 °C Monday 14 October, 2019
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Oireachtas agenda: Anglo director in the dock(lands), and SNA cuts

Lar Bradshaw – a former Anglo director and director of the Dublin Docklands Development Authority – is at the PAC today.

Lar Bradshaw was chairman of the Dublin Docklands Development Authority - and resigned from the board of Anglo just before it needed to be nationalised.
Lar Bradshaw was chairman of the Dublin Docklands Development Authority - and resigned from the board of Anglo just before it needed to be nationalised.
Image: Leon 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

With the matter of the Seanad’s abolition being sorted out last night, most of today’s Dáil business is devoted to the other main political question of the moment – the legislation allowing abortion in limited circumstances.

Before the debate on that – which will kick off today just before 11:30am – there’s time set aside for Leaders’ Questions at 10:30am and for half an hour’s debate on the day’s agenda just before 11am.

The debate on abortion comes back at around 11:30am for two hours, with Eamon Gilmore in to take Questions to the Minister for Foreign Affairs at 2:30pm. Debate on four topical issues runs from 3:45pm to around 4:30pm, when there’s another three hours on the abortion bill.

There’s time for another 45 minutes (or so) of discussion on the abortion legislation from 9:15pm until the night wraps up at 10pm, but in between there is 90 minutes of debate on Fianna Fáil’s motion seeking a reversal to SNA and resource teacher cuts. That’ll be discussed from 7:30pm to 9pm, with a vote called at the end.

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

SEANAD

It’s an awkward day for the Seanad – but perhaps it’s no coincidence that its most critical day in years is also the one where it gives itself the biggest workload.

Once it gets over its usual debate on the order of business, at 10:30am, it’ll be time to start debating legislation on abolishing the Seanad itself. The schedule suggests it may be Enda Kenny – who has only addressed the Seanad once since election – putting forward the case for abolition.

There’s only around an hour and a half set aside for debate, however: at 2:30pm the baton is passed to the independent senators, who have a motion demanding an update on the lobbying bill and the need to regulate political engagement with the tobacco, alcohol and gambling industries. If a vote is needed, it will be held at 4:30pm.

Jan O’Sullivan will pop in for 15 minutes to guide through the last stages of the Housing (Amendment) Bill, which eases the transition between two models of charging rent to council tenants, before Brendan Howlin moves in to wrap up the Public Service Management Bill making it easier for public workers to move between agencies.

Alan Shatter’s in for the evening from 5:30pm to 8pm, guiding through amendments to the Courts Bill – which allows for more transparency in some family law cases, including lifting a ban on media reporting – before Joan Burton takes over for two hours to finish off the Social Welfare Bill from 8pm to 10pm.

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

COMMITTEES

In a busy day, there are seven public committee meetings (and that doesn’t include the others meeting behind closed doors):

  • 9:30am: The Transport and Communications Committee will deal with plans for new EU laws on aquatic freight, and a couple of routine pieces of business regarding Croatia’s EU accession next week. (Watch here.)
  • 11:30am: The Justice and Defence committee welcomes Alan Shatter – today wearing his Minister for Defence hat – as he looks for approval for the revised 2013 budgets for his department and the army pension fund. (Watch here.)
  • 1pm: Joan Burton makes a similar visit to the Social Protection sub-committee, looking for the amended 2013 Budget for her committee to be signed off. (Watch here.)
  • 2pm: Brendan Howlin visits the Public Expenditure sub-committee to guide through the proposed amendments to the Ministers and Secretaries (Amendment) Bill 2012, which enforces mandatory spending ceilings for each Department of State. (Watch here.)
  • 3pm: In a high-profile (and unfortunately timed) visit, Lar Bradshaw – who resigned as a director at Anglo Irish Bank in the circular loans controversy – visits the Public Accounts Committee to discuss spending at the Dublin Docklands Development Authority, of which he is a former chairman. (Watch here.)
  • 4:30pm: Junior foreign minister Joe Costello visits the EU Affairs committee to discuss a recent meeting of EU aid ministers, and Ireland’s policy for international development. (Watch here.)
  • 5pm: Finally, the Public Service Oversight and Petitions committee ploughs through another batch of petitions submitted by the public. (Watch here.)

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About the author:

Gavan Reilly

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