Today in Leinster House: June 20, 2012

AS WITH YESTERDAY, the committee schedule is an unusually crammed one as some of the slew of new fragmented committees elect their chairpersons. Elsewhere, there’s the wrapping up of EU Treaty legislation and legislation offering a new credit guarantee scheme, and other bits and bobs.

So – on we march…

10:00am – Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation – The newly-constituted committee led by Damien English gets right down to business in Room 1, examining (unstated) EU legislative proposals before inviting in the Northern Ireland Assembly and Business Trust – of whom you’ll be hearing lots about in the next couple of days – to discuss cross-border employment, youth unemployment, and the role of Enterprise Ireland in job creation.

10:00am – Transport and Communications – In Room 3, there’s a quick meeting to agree one committee’s new chairman…

10:00am – Education and Social Protection – …while in Room 4 there’s another one, as another fragmented committee gets off to a running start.

10:30am – Leaders’ Questions – Enda Kenny steps up for the main pitches of the day from Micheal Martin, Gerry Adams and Shane Ross.

10:30am – Order of Business – The Seanad’s agenda is a relatively busy one, but nonetheless the opening 75-minute exchanges will discuss anything and everything else.

10:51am – Order of Business – TDs get 30 minutes to sign off on their plan for the day and discuss the status of promised legislation.

11:21am – European Stability Mechanism Bill 2012 (to conclude); Credit Guarantee Bill 2012 (to conclude) – Two main bits of legislation to be wrapped up by the Dáil today. The first deals with Ireland’s ratification of the European Stability Mechanism – a process which will mean putting €1.27bn of cash into the Eurozone’s already-tetchy-looking permanent bailout fund – while the second is a scheme where the government would guarantee bank loans to small and medium enterprises in the hope that banks might be more confident in handing out the cash.

11:45am – Motion re Renewal of Certain Provisions of the Offences against the State Act; Motion re Criminal Justice Act 2009 – The Seanad’s day starts with two motions which went through the Dáíl last week, and 45 minutes for each. The two related pieces of legislation extend the various legal provisions allowing special Garda powers to tackle gangland and paramilitary crime, and won almost unanimous approval in the Dáil where members are required to give their assent for the extension of those powers.

12:00pm – Agriculture, Food and the Marine – The Northern Ireland Assembly and Business Trust (remember them?) pop into Room 1 to discuss Salmon conservation measures, as well as reforms to the Common Fisheries Policy and Common Agricultural Policy, with the newly-formed committee.

1:15pm – Criminal Justice (Withholding Information against Children and Vulnerable Persons) Bill 2012 [Seanad] (final stages) – The much-vaunted legislation which makes it a crime not to report child abuse to Gardaí concludes its path through the Seanad before heading over to the Dáil for consideration next week.

2:00pm – Foreign Affairs and Trade – Revisiting a theme previously elaborated on by the likes of the IFA, Room 1 plays hosts to visitors from IDA Ireland, Enterprise Ireland and Forfás, each of whom will discuss the role of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in stimulating trade and the creation of employment.

2:30pm – Questions (Minister for Justice and Equality) – Alan Shatter’s twin ministerial briefs mean he’ll be taking questions for days in succession. In this first stint, he’ll answer inquiries on the Garda Ombudsman Commission Report, the progress of the investigation into the affairs of Anglo Irish Bank, action to tackle the “spate of crime that has hit rural Ireland”, and the progress on a policing plan and the report of the Metal Theft Forum.

3:15pm – Animal Health and Welfare Bill 2012 [Seanad] (committee stage resumed) – This session of proposed amendments to the new animal welfare legislation could be tetchy: among the proposed amendments will (probably) be one to remove the specially-enshrined sanctity of hare coursing, which was left intact by junior agriculture minister Shane McEntee who is overseeing this.

3:45pm – Topical Issues – Four newsworthy items are discussed for 12 minutes apiece, with ministers on hand to respond.

4:33pm – as 11:21am – Debate continues to the ESM legislation and the credit guarantee bill; discussion of the former is obliged to end by 7:30pm in time for the resumption of Sinn Féín’s private time.

6:00pm – Matters on the Adjournment – With the two pieces of legislation and two other motions taken care of, the Seanad discusses topical issues before calling it quits.

7:30pm – Private Members’ Business [Sinn Féin] – Local Government (Household Charge) (Repeal) Bill 2012 – Time, then, for another 90 minutes of debate on Sinn Féin’s simple-but-contentious legislation which, simply, would scrap the Household Charge introduced earlier this year. The debate will wrap up at 9pm with a straightforward for-or-against vote thereafter.

9:00pm – Credit Guarantee Bill 2012 (remaining stages) – With the ESM legislation wrapped up and the Household Charge repeal voted upon, there’ll be time for another 45-or-so minutes of discussion on the credit guarantee legislation, with a final vote to approve the scheme by 10pm.

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