Today in Leinster House: June 14, 2012 [updated]

TWO MAJOR PIECES of European-themed legislation going through the committees today, while the Dáil hopes to put an end to other straggling pieces of legislation longstanding on its agenda.

Again, it should be noted that at the time of publication, there had been no announcement of any speaking time for Mick Wallace, so this is all subject to tweaking.

10:00am – Environment, Transport, Culture and the Gaeltacht – In Room 2, members consider some miscellaneous plans for new EU laws, including proposals for the imports of Brazilian poultry, safety assessments for foreign aircraft, ship recycling, and more.

10:30am – Leaders’ Questions – It’s Thursday, so Eamon Gilmore will be taking 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 – Finance (sub-committee) – There’s two related pieces of EU-themed legislation making their way through the committees today. The first is the bill allowing Ireland to ratify the ESM Treaty – where no doubt the opposition members will be looking to kill off the ‘blackmail clause’ linking ESM access to the Fiscal Compact, even though Ireland has now ratified the latter. Michael Noonan will be present to oversee proceedings.

11:11am – European Arrest Warrant (Application to Third Countries and Amendment) and Extradition (Amendment) Bill 2011; Residential Institutions Statutory Fund Bill 2012; Electoral (Amendment) (Political Funding) Bill 2011 [Seanad]; Construction Contracts Bill 2010 [Seanad] – The heading says it all really. In a day devoid of much structure, there are four pieces of legislation to be considered at varying length: extending EU arrest warrants to further countries; establishing a trust fund to compensate the victims of institutional abuse; enshrining gender quotas in place for the next election; and legislation requiring builders to inform people in writing first if they’re not planning on meeting the full extent of the bill for any work performed.

11:30am – Health and Children – In what is becoming a welcome regular fixture, all three health ministers – James Reilly, Roisin Shortall and Kathleen Lynch – as well as HSE chief executive Cathal Magee will hold a general briefing on health matters and take a Q&A.

11:30am – European Union Affairs – The second of the major EU legislation is the European Communities (Amendment) Bill 2012, which sees Ireland formally approve a decision by the European Council to amend the EU’s treaties and permit the creation of a bailout fund (which the current funds explicitly forbid). Lucinda Creighton will be on hand to take questions.

11:45am – Competition (Amendment) Bill 2012 (report and final stages) – Time for the final stages of this legislation, which beefs up the power of the Competition Authority in punishing anti-competitive behaviour. Richard Bruton will be on hand.

1:00pm –  Statements on the Euroscience Open Forum 2012 – Does exactly what it says on the tin. Sean Sherlock leads statements on Europe’s largest multi-disciplinary science conference, being hosted in Dublin next month.

2:30pm – Statements following the Referendum regarding the Thirtieth Amendment of the Constitution (Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance in the Economic and Monetary Union) Bill 2012 – The final item on the Seanad agenda is an open-ended debate on the merits, or otherwise, of Ireland’s vote in the Fiscal Compact referendum last week.

3:42pm – Topical Issues – Four burning issues get 12 minutes’ airing in the Dáil…

4:30pm – Questions (Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine) – …before Simon Coveney steps in to take parliamentary questions on matters including the Common Agricultural Policy, if spending of EU infrastructural funds could be hampered by the EU’s bailout, penalties for farmers breaching CAP regulations, and the restrictions placed on farms found to include animals with TB.

5:00pm – Matters on the Adjournment – Having wrapped up the Fiscal Compact chatter, there’s three miscellaneous topical matters discussed before the Seanad ends its week.

5:45pm – Personal Statement by Mick Wallace TD – A late addition to the Dáil schedule is the biggest one of the day: Mick Wallace TD is given a 15-minute window to make a personal statement to the house discussing the tax affairs of his businesses.

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