Today in Leinster House: September 22, 2011

It’s a busy one – with plenty of committee meetings and some major bills going through both houses. Let’s get to it:

10:00am – Public Accounts: Continuing its theme from last week, the committee keeps casting a closer eye on the report of the Comptroller and Auditor General: this time the focus is on the Revenue Commissioners and how they work. Room 1.

10:30am – Leaders Questions’ and Order of Business: The two houses of the Oireachtas have their morning’s free rein, with the usual batch of leaders’ questions in the Dáil, while the Seanad has its usual talk-a-thon. Unusually, it’ll probably be Enda Kenny taking the Leaders’ Questions session today, with Eamon Gilmore still in New York for the UN’s General Assembly.

10:51am – Order of Business: The Dáil lays out its own plan of action for the day, which shouldn’t take all of the 20 minutes allotted for it.

11:11am – National Tourism Development Authority (Amendment) Bill 2011 (second stage): The main bill of the day in the Dáil is a housekeeping piece – essentially expanding the roll of Fáilte Ireland to nurture more tourist-related enterprises.

11:30pm – European Union Affairs: Noam Chayut, from the Israeli veterans’ group Breaking the Silence, briefs the committee about Israel’s activities in the occupied Middle-Eastern territories. With Palestine knees-deep in a campaign for international recognition, the timing couldn’t be more prescient. Room 3.

11:30pm – Health and Children: Again, keeping up its previous theme, the committee resumes its hearings on the problem of chronic drug use, this time featuring the input of junior minister Róisín Shortall. Room 2.

11:45pm – European Financial Stability Facility (Amendment) and Euro Area Loan Facility (Amendment) Bill 2011 (all stages) – After making it through the Dáil already this week, the Bailout Bill – signing up to Greece’s bailout, and contributing an extra €5bn to the current format of the European bailout fund. The four-hour debate will include a motion calling for early signature from the President.

3:42pm – Topical Issues: Four burning issues of the day are discussed for 12 minutes apiece – or, at least, that’s the plan. Yesterday’s meeting of the Dáil Procedures and Privileges Committee could mean a new setup.

3:00pm – Private Members’ Business: Prof John Crown has tabled a private members’ bill for the Seanad; it’s a relatively straightforward bill which would require any member of the Oireachtas to inform the Minister for Justice about any lobbying of the judiciary. It’s based as a response to the David Norris/Ezra Nawi furore.

3:42pm – Topical Issues: Four burning issues of the day are discussed for a raucous 12 minutes apiece.

3:45pm – Thirtieth Amendment of the Constitution (Judges’ Remuneration) Bill 2011 (all stages) – For the second afternoon in a row, the Seanad is asked to have a quick last-minute look at a referendum before it’s sent on its way to the public. Again, there’s no need for a motion for early signature, as it’s passed in enough time for President McAleese to sign it next week.

4:30pm – Questions (Minister for Education and Skills): Among Ruairí Quinn’s questions to face are the matters of converting schoolbooks to PDFs, developing an enterprise programme as part of the secondary curriculum, and the continued rollout of Project Maths. He’ll finish at 5:45pm, when the Dáil ends for the week.

7:00pm (approx) – Matters on the Adjournment: The Seanad discusses its last extra-curricular material of the week before hometime.

As always, all of the day’s business can be viewed on the streams: