This week in the Dáil: April 5-7, 2011

It’s a relatively quiet week in Leinster House this week – of course, not that many weeks would be up there alongside the likes of Lowrygate and then the publication of €24bn stress test results – but with the Seanad and committees still on ice, and only minor legislation on the cards.


Enda Kenny takes questions at 2:30pm, followed – in a rather nice, post-Moriarty linger – by communications minister Pat Rabbitte at 3:15pm.

Leaders Questions at 4:15pm will no doubt see the last of the Moriarty and stress test mop-up – as well as the first questioning about Michael Noonan’s renewed drive to lower the bailout interest rate – followed by the Order of Business, and statements on the weekend’s bombing at Omagh.

Thereafter there’ll be discussion on the Communications Regulation (Postal Services) Bill 2010, a remnant from the last government which tidies up a series of postal regulations as well as laying the foundations for a postcode system.

At 7pm, Private Members’ Time will see possibly the most eventful debate of the week get underway: a motion backed by 13 of the 16 members of the Technical Group calling for a referendum on the EU-IMF bailout and the banking guarantee.

This, interestingly, could also underline some factions in the United Left Alliance: although the PBP pairing of Richard Boyd Barrett and Joan Collins have put their names to the motion, there’s no sign of the names of Socialist Party duo Joe Higgins and Clare Daly, nor their Tipperary stablemate Seamus Healy.


There’s another batch of Leaders Questions to kick us off at 10:30am, before the remarkably less chaotic Taoiseach’s Questions at 10:50am for 45 minutes.

After the Order of Business, there’ll be some statements from all parties (including, potentially, Michael Noonan? Perhaps one to look out for) on the European Council – no doubt a discussion loaded with talk of the bailout again – and then a related chat about the banking recapitalisation.

Thereafter resumes chat on the Postal Services Bill from Tuesday, with a sojourn for lunch and questions to environment minister Phil Hogan. There’ll be something to watch in there, too: Fianna Fáil’s nominal environmental spokesperson right now is Mary Hanafin, while Sinn Féin has yet to nail down the policy responsibilities of its 14 TDs, so it’ll be worth noting who takes the stand on either side.

7pm will see the resumption of debate on the Technical Group’s ‘give us a referendum’ motion, and that’ll close proceedings at 8:30pm.


A quiet day: order of business, discussion on the Criminal Justice (Community Service) (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill 2011 – which is supported by all sides, and aims to prioritise community service instead of sub-12-month jail terms.

After that there’ll be some statements on suicide, ministerial questions for Alan Shatter, and at 4:45pm the adjournment matters wrap up the week.

All of the week’s business can be viewed on our live Dáil stream.