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Jerry Buttimer's Oireachtas committee on Health will meet behind closed doors to decide how it will scrutinise the new abortion proposals. Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland
Leinster House

Oireachtas agenda: Changing council rents and scrapping VECs

Laws to merge and rationalise Ireland’s VEC sector will be among those polished off in Leinster House today.

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, Seanad and various Oireachtas committees today.


Thursday sees Eamon Gilmore take the hot seat for Leaders’ Questions at 10:30am, with a brief discussion on the day’s agenda shortly afterward.

There are three proposed laws on the daily agenda, which will begin discussion at around 11:30am:

  • The Education and Training Boards Bill 2012, which merges some of the VECs. Debate here will focus on a few amendments made by the Seanad;
  • The Industrial Development (Science Foundation Ireland) (Amendment) Bill 2012, which expands the role of Science Foundation Ireland; and
  • The Housing (Amendment) Bill 2013, a housekeeping bill to ease the transition between two models of charging rent for local authority tenants.

Four topical issues are considered at at 3:42pm, while Alan Shatter takes Questions to the Minister for Defence at 4:30pm to round off the day.

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


The Seanad’s day kicks off with the usual discussion on matters local and global (10:30am) before members welcome Marian Harkin MEP to their fold.

She’ll be continuing the series of lectures from Irish MEPs, to mark the 40 years of EU membership, to discuss how the Seanad’s own links with the EU can be strengthened.

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


The most high-profile meeting of the day – that of the Health committee to discuss its plans for scrutinising the new abortion proposals – is behind closed doors. (That meeting starts at 9:30am – more news on that later).

There are only two public meetings today:

  • The Agriculture committee will discuss the proposals to auction off Coillte’s felling rights at 9:30am, but not before it looks at EU plans to create a “framework for maritime spatial planning and integrated coastal management”. (Watch here.)
  • The Public Accounts Committee will continue its scrutiny of the Dublin Docklands Development Authority accounts – examining its spending prior to its abolition – with the DDDA chairman John Tierney. (Watch here.)

Explainer: How does a Bill become a law?

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