Today in Leinster House: May 8, 2012

THIS WEEK is a relatively quiet one in the Oireachtas – with only a smattering of committee meetings as members prepare for a long weekend.

2:00pm – Questions (Minister for Justice and Equality) – Alan Shatter gets the ball rolling in the Dáil; his rostered questions will deal with matters including aggravated burglaries, reform of probation services, reform of citizenship applications, and plans for any legislation making an exceptional example of people convicted of the manslaughter of on-duty Gardaí.

2:00pm – Communications, Natural Resources and Agriculture – In Room 3, the agriculture committee will resume its hearings on the upcoming reform of the CAP, today hearing from the Irish Dairy and Creamery Farmers’ Association.

2:15pm – Environment, Transport, Culture and the Gaeltacht – In Room 4, meanwhile, the transport committee will consider the running of rural transport schemes and whether the current offerings are providing value for money. Senior figures for the Department of Transport and the National Transport Authority will be on hand.

2:30pm – Health and Children – Over in Room 1, at the same time, members of the interdepartmental group on the introduction of the Children First legislation will offer their thoughts on the draft bill as it currently stands.

3:15pm – Leaders’ Questions – Enda Kenny takes the marquee event of the day, facing questions from Fianna Fáil, Sinn Féin or the technical group.

3:36pm – Questions (Taoiseach) – Among the matters up for Kenny’s written rostered questions: a bilateral investigation into the murder of Pat Finucane, and other matters (trade, the fiscal compact), relating to meetings with David Cameron; a financial transaction tax, and progress on the Programme for Government.

4:36pm – Order of Business – TDs spend 30 minutes agreeing to the day’s agenda…

5:06pm – Topical Issues – …and 48 minutes discussing four of the day’s newsworthy topics for 12 minutes apiece.

5:54pm – Residential Institutions Statutory Fund Bill 2012 (second stage) – Given the ongoing discussion about Cardinal Seán Brady, Ruairí Quinn’s legislation is all the more topical. In 2002 the State agreed a deal with the 18 religious orders who managed residential institutions where residents were abused. This deal splits the bill 50:50 between the state and the institutions. The bill is now at €1.36 billion, and the institutions still owe €470m. Quinn’s Bill would create a statutory fund where individuals could apply for compensation, to be funded by a particular €110 million tranche of payments from the institutions.

7:30pm – Private Members’ Business [Technical Group] – Motion on Domiciliary Care Allowance – The usual slot of time falls to the Technical Group, which returns to a matter which was a hot topic shortly after the Budget. The Domiciliary Care Allowance is the allowance paid to disabled people under the age of 18, which under the last Budget was due to be rolled back to 16 (though this change was ‘paused’ pending review). Rather than make piecemeal changes, the technical group – led by Catherine Murphy – tables a motion outlining a much more comprehensive review. The debate will continue until 9pm and pause then for the night.

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