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Dublin: 15 °C Sunday 18 August, 2019
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Oireachtas agenda: Banking inquiry framework and human trafficking

With the Anglo Tapes still in the headlines, all eyes are on the final stage of legislation that might provide the means to hold an inquiry into Ireland’s banking fiasco. There is also the matter of a certain first vote on the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill…

Let's do this: Finance Minister is taking questions in the Dáil at 2pm.
Let's do this: Finance Minister is taking questions in the Dáil at 2pm.
Image: Laura Hutton/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 in the Dáil, Seanad and various Oireachtas committees today.

DÁIL

Finance Minister Michael Noonan, fresh from telling the Week in Politics that three bankers will be in court before 2014 is out, is taking questions at 2pm. Leaders’ questions are at 3.15pm with Taoiseach Enda Kenny taking questions at 3.36pm.

There will be a special pause for tributes to former Ceann Comhairle and Fianna Fáil minister Padraig Falkner. He died at the age of 94 in June of last year but it can take some time for expressions of sympathy to come round in the Houses, unless a politician dies while still in office or in particularly tragic fashion.

Back to order of business then at 4.36pm as well as nearly an hour and a half of statements on how we got on at the European Council meeting last week - you may remember that youth unemployment was on the table there.

There will be a first vote just after 5.05pm - when Taoiseach Enda Kenny will be back from Strasbourg – on the Protection of Life during Pregnancy Bill.

Four topical issues will go up for discussion after that, before the report (from Oireachtas committee) and final stages of the Houses of the Oireachtas (Inquiries Privileges and Procedures) Bill 2013 comes up. The Taoiseach has already committed to the idea of a banking inquiry – we wonder why – and the idea of this bill is to give the legal framework for one.

At 7.30pm, Sinn Féin’s Pádraig Mac Lochlainn is using Private Members’ Time to introduce legislation allowing equality impact assessments to be carried out in public bodies. This will be unopposed and so a chunk of the evening will most likely stay with talk about the inquiries bill until 10pm.

All of the day’s Dáil business can be viewed here.

SEANAD

There are three pieces of legislation getting to report stage here today, when the Seanad will adopt changes suggested to bills which have already been debated. Expect Justice Minister Alan Shatter to drop in for the report stage of legislation designed to help combat human trafficking. It is scheduled for the 3.45pm slot along with legislation which will make changes to some court procedures.

Tightening up the regulation of financial institutions – and making it easier to enforce that regulation – is to be adopted after 6.30pm.

All of the day’s Seanad business can be viewed here.

COMMITTEES

  • The Agriculture, Food and Marine committee is to vote on revised estimates for public services in Committee Room 2 at 2pm with Minister Simon Coveney popping in for that. (Watch here.)
  • They will be busy in Room 4 from 1.30pm where the Jobs, Entreprise and Innovation committee will be scrutinising various EU legislation proposals, a report presented on whether home care provision should be outsourced and the National Standards Authority of Ireland’s chairperson designate Julie O’Neill coming in for a chat about the job. (Watch here.)
  • European Union Affairs will hear from Sonia Piedfrafita from the Centre for European Policy Studies on democracry and accountability in the EU at 2pm in Room 1. (Watch here.)
  • There will no doubt be informative exchanges from two academics, from UL and UCC, on a climate action and carbon-cutting bill in Room 4 at 2.30pm in front of the Environment, Culture and the Gaeltacht committee. (Watch here.)
  • All eyes will be on the Health sub-committee in Room 2 at 5pm with the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill 2013 being referred back to the Dáil for its first vote. (Watch here.)

Explainer: How does a Bill become a law?

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