Today in Leinster House: September 18, 2012


Though there’s been a couple of committee meetings in the last few weeks, the Oireachtas summer recess really ends today as the Dáil ends eight weeks of holidays – and gets its teeth into the weighty matter of whether James Reilly deserves to keep his job.

So, without further ado…

1:30pm – Committee on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation – The day begins in committee room 2, where members will hold two sessions of discussion on the issue of youth unemployment. The first involves representatives from the European Commission and SIPTU, the second (at 3pm) from Ernst & Young and the Discovery Zone.

2:00pm – Questions (Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government) – Phil Hogan gets the Dáil back underway with his usual batch of ministerial questions; he’ll take inquiries on cuts to local government funding as a result of the household charge; pyrite difficulties in homes; minimal standards of letting accommodation; and the timing of water charges.

2:00pm – Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine – In Room 3, members will discuss the challenges in striking an appropriate public-private balance in the use of IT on farms. They’ll be briefed by representatives from relevant IT companies.

3:15pm – Leaders’ Questions – Usually the marquee event of the day (though probably, in this case, outshone by the debate later), Enda Kenny takes on-the-hoof questions from the leaders of Fianna Fáil, Sinn Féin and the technical group.

3:36pm – Questions (Taoiseach) – After those unscripted barbs, there’ll be more sedate scripted questioning on European meetings over the summer recess, possible meetings with leaders in the North, and meetings of the cabinet sub-committee on health.

4:36pm – Order of Business – TDs spend half an hour agreeing to the agenda for the rest of the day’s discussions…

5:06pm – Topical Issues – …and then 48 minutes speaking about four matters of daily newsworthiness, for 12 minutes apiece.

5:54pm – National Vetting Bureau (Children and Vulnerable Persons) Bill 2012 (second stage) – The week’s legislative business begins with some relatively innocuous legislation on setting up a new National Vetting Bureau which would take over vetting responsibilities from the Gardaí.

7:30pm – Private Members’ Business [Fianna Fáil] – Motion of No Confidence in the Minister for Health – The big event of the day is Fianna Fáil’s motion on whether the Minister for Health, Dr James Reilly, should walk (or be pushed off) the plank. Its motion, in full, reads:

“That Dáil Éireann has no confidence in the Minister for Health, James Reilly T.D., because of his inability to deliver on his budget commitments which were based on false and misleading targets in many areas that were never achievable or implementable due to his lack of governance, resulting in more chaos across the health service which will directly impact on patients because of more frontline services being cut, extra bed closures, and more cuts to social support services to the disabled and elderly.”

The debate will continue until 9pm, when the Dáil calls it a night, and will resume again tomorrow evening.

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