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Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland
Leinster House

Oireachtas agenda: Home repossessions and passion in the Seanad

Remember David Norris’s impassioned speech on possible Seanad abolition last week? Guess what’s back on the cards today…

WHAT ARE OUR politicians doing in the halls of Leinster House? lets you know with our guide to what’s coming up in the Dáil, Seanad and various Oireachtas committees today.


Taoiseach Enda Kenny will be in the hot seat for Leaders’ Questions first thing at 10.30am and then the juicy stuff – the legislation which would establish the framework for a banking inquiry to go ahead returns to the Dáil for its final stage and must wrap up by 1.30pm.

Legislation to remove legal uncertainty around repossession of a property when it is a family home – ie, letting a court adjourn in some cases to see if a better personal insolvency solution can be found – is also in the chamber for the final stages.

The last to conclude tonight will be the Ministers and Secretaries Amendment Bill to give statutory effect to fixed ministerial expenditure ceilings.

Education and Skills Minister Ruairi Quinn takes questions at 2.30pm – there should be some interesting written questions in there, considering recent events – with topical issues at 3.45pm taking in issues as diverse as J1 visas for students, funding for Finglas Primary Care Centre, US surveillance in the EU and housing adaption grants.

Sinn Féin are using private members time for the Equality Status (Amendment) Bill 2013, which we mentioned here yesterday.


The Seanad has a committee at 11.45am questioning Training and Skills junior minister Ciarán Cannon about the winding down of FÁS and responsibilities for further education and training transferred to SOLAS. Acronym central.

There will no doubt be more impassioned speeches about the potential to abolish Seanad Éireann at 1.30pm – you may recall Senator David Norris, who has been quite ill, making a most furious speech about it last week – and cutting the legs out from under Enda Kenny in the process. “Watch him from 13:00 on this:

via videoist/Youtube

Senator Feargal Quinn – he of supermarket fame – is bringing the second stage of his private member bill about making an enhanced level of food labelling info available to consumers at 4.30pm.


  • The special sub-committee on Health will be resuming its discussion at 9.30am in room 2 of the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill 2013. The first vote on the bill in the Dáil passed yesterday 138 to 24 and went to the committee late yesterday. (Watch here.)
  • If you’re not afraid of hearing the words The Gathering, watch for the Transport and Communications committee discussing the tourism industry’s marketing strategies for the year that’s in it, starting at 9.30am in Room 4. (Watch here.)
  • At the same popular time, 9.30am in Room 1, there will be some EU proposals on the table for Justice, Defence and Equality, as well as a chat with the incoming chairman of the Private Security Authority, Noel Lappin. (Watch here.)
  • The Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform committee is looking at the terms of reference for a sub-committee to deal with global taxation – careful now – at 2.30pm and reviewing Ecofin under the Irish presidency of the EU at 4pm in Room 4 with Michael Noonan telling them all the gossip from his meetings with fellow EU finance ministers. Those Ecofin meetings were tense, to say the least, but then this happened. (Watch here.)
  • Ireland has a national action plan on the UN Security Resolution on Women, Peace and Security – did you know that? Tune into Room 1 at 2.30pm to hear more from Liz McManus in front of Foreign Affairs and Trade. At 5.30pm the focus turns to revised estimates for public services in the department with Eamon Gilmore and his junior minister Joe Costello lending their presence hopefully. (Watch here.)
  • Anything else? Oh yes – the Garda Ombudsman’s Report 2012 dissected with an some top brass answering queries from the Public Service Oversight and Petitions in Room 3 from 4pm. (Watch here.)

Explainer: How does a Bill become a law?

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