Today in Leinster House: June 7, 2012

IT’S ANOTHER European-themed day in the Dáil, while the Seanad has some luminary visitors and the Seanad deals with some slightly more cultural matters.

9:30am – Justice, Defence and Equality – Sean Sherlock begins the day, in room 2, to discuss a very weighty matter – a proposal for an EU directive on the freezing and confiscation of proceeds of crime. The proposals are modelled on the success of Ireland’s Criminal Assets Bureau, so discussion should be interesting.

9:30am – Agriculture, Food and Marine (sub-committee) – In Room 3, Simon Coveney – fresh from his lap of honour as the director of elections for the Yes side – pops in to seek the usual extra funding for his Department.

10:00am – Public Accounts Committee – Back in Room 1 after a few weeks off, the PAC gets its teeth into probably its weightiest matter ever: Ireland’s national debt, the methods by which Ireland accesses its funding, its investment into the banking sector, the work of the office of the Minister for Finance – and THAT €3.6bn accounting error in Ireland’s accounts for 2010.

10:30am – Leaders’ Questions – It’s Thursday, but Eamon Gilmore might be busy meeting William Hague, so it’ll fall to another minister to handle the leaders’ questions against the deputy leaders of Fianna Fáil, Sinn Féin and the technical group.

10:30am – Order of Business – The Seanad’s day begins with the usual 75-minute free-for-all on anything and everything.

10:51am – Order of Business – TDs get 20 minutes to check up on the status of some of the government’s promised measures.

11:00am – Implementation of the Good Friday Agreement – Three UUP members of the Stormont assembly – including the party leader Mike Nesbitt – pop into Room 4 to discuss contemporary matters in Northern Ireland.

11:11am – Private Members’ Business [Technical Group] – Motion re buildings standards – Debate resumes on Clare Daly and Mick Wallace’s lengthy motion which would see the State undertake “remedial works to make buildings safe and fit for purpose as part of an emergency programme of necessary public works, and where possible to subsequently pursue the responsible developers and builders to recoup the cost for the State.” A vote will be called at 12:41pm; the Dáil then takes a half-hour break.

11:30am – Health and Children – In Room 2, members discuss EU plans for medicinal labelling, before a series of the country’s leading child protection experts come in to give their thoughts on the draft Children First legislation.

11:30am – European Union Affairs – UCD law lecturer Dr Gavin Barrett is in Room 3 to give members a briefing on the role of national parliaments in European affairs – an interesting topic, given how the Oireachtas finance committee got extra powers under the Fiscal Compact being signed into law this week.

11:45am – Statements on ‘A Decade of Commemorations’ – Jimmy Deenihan pops upstairs to lead a two-hour discussion on the various centenaries arising this decade – Home Rule, the Easter Rising, the Civil War…

1:25pm – European Stability Mechanism Bill 2012 (second stage) – The main item of the Dáil’s day is another piece related very closely to the Fiscal Compact – it’s allowing Ireland to contribute to the new European Stability Mechanism, which it yesterday agreed to change EU law to permit. The debate, much to opposition chagrin, will wrap up by 5:30pm.

1:45pm – Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2012 (committee and remaining stages) – The Seanad’s day is then compiled with wrapping up the legislation merging Limerick county and city councils, among other miscellaneous local authority actions.

4:00pm – Matters on the Adjournment – With that done, some topical issues are discussed in the Seanad.

5:30pm – Topical Issues – Four burning issues get 12 minutes’ airing in the Dáil…

6:18pm – Questions (Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation) – …before Richard Bruton brings an end to the day with ministerial questioning on matters like stimulating employment, the ability of small firms to apply for state tenders, the effects of fuel prices on business, and tackling high commercial rates.

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