Today in Leinster House: May 22, 2012

THIS WEEK’S committee meetings are largely padded out with ministers having to seek extra funding for their Government departments – which is relatively routine at this time of the year – while there’s some other decent meat in other committees and in the Dáil.

2:00pm – Questions (Minister for Foreign Affairs & Trade) – Eamon Gilmore gets the week rolling with his monthly back of oral questions; among the matters today are the potential boycott of Euro 2012, an EU ban on the import of goods from Israeli settlements, the human rights of Irish prisoners in Maghaberry Prison and France’s stance on the Fiscal Compact.

2:00pm – Communications, Natural Resources and Agriculture – The meeting in Room 3 will see consideration of European Commission plans to deal with poultry imports from Brazil, as well as series of other miscellaneous items. There’ll also be a discussion on the administrative priorities of the Department of Agriculture, including a discussion on how to stop late payments.

2:15pm – Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (sub-committee) – As with last week, many of the committees will see ministers make routine visits to secure extra funding for their Departments. The first this week is Jimmy Deenihan, who pops into Room 4 to secure extra cash for the Department of the Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.

2:30pm – Order of Business – The Seanad kicks off its day with the usual 75-minute session of anything and everything.

2:30pm – Health and Children – HIQA chief executive Tracey Cooper pops into room 1 to discuss last week’s report into conditions at the emergency department in Tallaght Hospital, which underlined major shortcomings where financial concerns seemed to take precedent over medical treatment.

2:30pm – Social Protection (sub-committee) – Joan Burton nips into Room 2 to seek similar funding top-ups for her Department.

3:15pm – Leaders’ Questions – The marquee event of the day sees Enda Kenny square off against Micheál Martin, Gerry Adams and the technical group’s rostered spokesman.

3:30pm – Environment, Community and Local Government (sub-committee) – Phil Hogan is next with cap in hand, heading into Room 4 to get extra funding for the Dept of Environment, Community and Local Government.

3:36pm – Questions (Taoiseach) – Enda Kenny steps up for his weekly batch of ministerial inquiries; he will answer questions on his Department’s strategy for 2011-2014, its role in tackling the jobs crisis, and his St Patrick’s Day visit to the USA.

3:45pm – Animal Health and Welfare Bill 2012 (committee stage) – The only item on the Seanad’s agenda today is dealing with proposed amendments to legislation which enforces animal welfare rules. There may be a vote on removing the contentious clause which gives hare coursing a specific legally-enshrined status as being a safe practice.

4:36pm – Order of Business – TDs spend thirty minutes agreeing to the day’s agenda and querying the status of promised legislation.

5:06pm – Pre-European Council statements – Enda Kenny heads to Brussels on Wednesday for an informal meeting of the EU’s heads of government who will offer their thoughts on how to promote economic growth within the Eurozone. TDs here spend 65 minutes offering their thoughts on how events should proceed.

5:45pm – Matters on the Adjournment – With any proposed amendments dealt with, members discuss other leftover items before settling down for the night.

6:11pm – Topical Issues – Four of the day’s newsworthy items are discussed for four minutes apiece.

6:59pm – Qualification and Quality Assurance (Education and Training) Bill 2011 [Seanad] (second stage) – Nirvana for lovers of acronyms: there’s 30 minutes left before PMB, so the Dáil gets its teeth into the proposed merger of HETAC, FETAC and the NQAI into the new QQAA.

7:30pm – Private Members’ Business [Sinn Féin] – Motion re Preservation of 16 Moore Street – For the first time in this Dáil, an opposition motion is signed by almost every single member of the opposition. All 19 Fianna Fáil TDs, 13 of the 14 independents, all five of the ULA TDs and Labour outcast Patrick Nulty sign this motion from Sinn Féin, which commands Jimmy Deenihan to issue a ministerial order stopping the proposed development at the top of O’Connell St, by safeguarding the site at 14-17 Moore Street (which is thought to include the last HQ of the 1916 leaders) from any development. Debate will suspend at 9pm.

9:00pm – Credit Guarantee Bill 2012 (second stage resumed) – There’s one extra hour of debate left tonight; TDs will discuss the government’s proposed plan to guarantee loan applications for small business.

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