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Leinster House

Oireachtas agenda: Promissory notes, eco-cars and horse meat

Simon Coveney will take ministerial questions in the Dáil today as the horse meat controversy rages on.

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.


Simon Coveney’s had a busy couple of weeks recently, so his answers to Questions to the Minister for Agriculture may make an interesting start to the day when the Dáil convenes at 2pm. He’s followed by Leaders’ Questions at 3:15pm and an hour of Questions to the Taoiseach right afterwards.

Topical Issues are discussed shortly after 5pm but it’ll be nearly 6pm by the time the Dáil gets to the single item that dominates its week: a motion supporting the government’s actions on IBRC and the promissory note. This will be discussed all week, with the first discussion between about 6pm and 7:30pm.

An opposition motion from Fianna Fáil, calling for a formal State apology and a redress system for the victims of the Magdalene Laundries, will be debated between 7:30pm and 9pm. There’ll be a similar 90 minutes of debate tomorrow night before a vote is taken.

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


It’s a pretty straightforward day in the Seanad: the usual 75-minute free-for-all during Order of Business (2:30pm) is followed by discussion on proposed amendments to new rules for taxi licensing, which include fines for drivers who don’t take customers on the cheapest route.

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


Just the three committee meetings to keep things busy today:

  • The Committee on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation gets the day going at 1:30pm to consider proposals from Europe on state aid, among others, before hearing from Phil Hogan on how to empower rural communities to encourage sustainable economic growth in their own areas. (Watch here.)
  • Hogan’s own committee – the one on Environment, Culture and the Gaeltacht – has its own EU plans to discuss when it meets at 2:15pm. It’ll debate plans to set new targets for CO2 emissions from cars by 2020. After that, it hears from IFA reps about the difficulties farmers have during flooding season. (Watch here.)
  • The committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine meets Teagasc at 3:30pm to discuss the use of commonage lands and plans to encourage the most eco-friendly practices on farms. There’ll also be an appearance from the National Association of Regional Game Councils on agri-environmental plans. (Watch here.)‘s one to watch

The hard business of it all was wrapped up last week, so the week’s worth of business will be tricky to navigate, but the debate on the government’s motion on promissory notes (Dáil, 6pm) may be interesting – not least simply to see what the motion itself asks for.

If it seeks to merely ratify the government’s actions, and the motion was somehow not to pass, what would happen then? The arrangement has already been undertaken, so it cannot be reversed without the horrendous task of re-issuing promissory notes.

There’s also the slightly tricky legality of the legal proceedings taken by David Hall against the legality of the promissory note in the first place: if this motion compromises some sort of ratification, with TDs approving the deal to scrap the notes (albeit retrospectively), is this tantamount to a declaration that TDs should have been given a vote to create them in the first place?

Explainer: How does a Bill become a law?

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