Today in Leinster House: March 7, 2012

The Dáil’s day is again wrapped up with the Greek bailout – and the aftermath from last week’s summit in Brussels – while the committees keep busy and the Seanad discusses rare diseases.

9:30am – Jobs, Social Protection and Education – A long day begins in Room 3, where Children’s Ombudsman Emily Logan will brief members on how her role overlaps with the provision of education for children.

10:30am – Leaders’ Questions – The Dáil begins its day with the high-profile missile-lobbing from Micheál Martin, Gerry Adams and the technical group, as Enda Kenny (purely for the purposes of finishing this metaphor) dons some chain mail and swats the barbs away.

10:30am – Order of Business – The Seanad will spend a wary 75 minutes sorting out it’s plan for action for the day…

10:51am – Order of Business – …which the Dáil will take 30 minutes to do, despite its agenda being so much busier.

11:21am – Statements post European Council – Last week’s summit of EU leaders in Brussels was the first in two years not to be dominated by matters economic. Here members will spend 85 minutes debating its conclusions, most prominently the EU’s condemnation of events in Syria.

11:30am – Justice, Equality and Defence – The committee meets in Room 2 to discuss European proposals for laws on funding for asylum, migration and border management programmes, as well as plans for an EU-wide IT system to manage the conditions of the Schengen acquis.

11:30am – Environment, Transport, Culture and the Gaeltacht – Representatives from secondary schools in Dublin, Kildare and Cork discuss the role of an Gaeilge in promoting education, employment, Irish culture and sport.

11:45am – Statements on Early Intervention and Family Support Services – Frances Fitzgerald leads two hours of statements on family support services and the broader role of the State in the family setting.

12:46pm – Euro Area Loan Facility (Amendment) Bill 2012 (second stage resumed) – Debate resumes on the legislation which gives effect to the second Greek bailout. Although Ireland will not be participating in the second loan as it’s already been bailed out, it needs to ratify the deal because it’s being merged into the first loan in which Ireland was one of the lenders. Debate will pause at lunch and resume at 4:33pm.

2:15pm – European Union Affairs – A delegation from the Swedish Riksdag, led by vice-speaker Suzanne Eberstein, pop into room 4 for some tea, biscuits and chat on Hiberno-Swedish relations.

2:30pm – Questions (Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources) – Pat Rabbitte will take Dáil questions from the opposition spokespersons, which may awkwardly include Éamon Ó Cuív who would have submitted some of the questions before resigning as communications spokesman seven days ago. Among the questions submitted are inquiries on potential job losses through the rollback of the ‘warmer homes better energy’ scheme, the position on the LNG project, changes to the TV licence system, possible job losses at ESB and Bord Gais after the sell-off, and the safety record of Bord Gais contractors.

2:30pm – Foreign Affairs & Trade – Michael Gaffey, the assistant secretary at the Department’s Development Cooperation Division, briefs members on Irish Aid policy for funding the NGO sector. Room 1.

3:30pm – Private Members’ Business [Fine Gael] – Motion on Rare Diseases – The Seanad rota means the government senators from Fine Gael get a chance to push through a discretionary motion, putting forward a motion calling on the government to introduce a care programme for people with rare diseases, and examining a registry for such diseases.

3:45pm – Topical Issues – Four newsworthy topics are discussed for 12 minutes apiece.

4:00pm – Investigations, Oversight and Petitions – Paul Reid from the Reform and Delivery Office at the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform tips into room 3 to discuss the reform agenda for the public sector.

4:00pm – Finance, Expenditure and Reform – In Room 4, the Central Bank’s top statistician Joe McNeill and his CSO counterpart Michael Connolly brief members on corporate debt outside of the financial sector.

4:33pm – as 11:21amDáil debate resumes on the legislation signing off on Greece’s second bailout.

5:30pm – Matters on the Adjournment – Once the Fine Gael motion has been dealt with, members get to raise a few topical issues before calling it quits.

5:30pm – Foreign Affairs & Trade – Eamon Gilmore visits Room 1 to brief the foreign affairs committee on the meeting of the EU Foreign Affairs council and the ongoing situation in Syria.

7:30pm – Private Members’ Business [Technical Group] – Motion re Turf Cutting – Debate on the Greek bailout wraps up at 7:30pm (possibly with a vote, holding business up for 15 minutes) before discussion resumes on Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan’s motion demanding that the government acknowledge the Habitats Directive and its impact on the rights of people to cut turf on their lands. The government has an amendment in, so a vote will be needed on the latter at 9pm.

All of the day’s business can be viewed on the streams: