Today in Leinster House: July 20, 2011

[Updated at 2:03pm]

Following on in my experimental phase ahead of the summer recess (see yesterday), today is the second in a series of daily updates with what’s going on in Leinster House.

I’m going to try a more structured, less prosaic approach today to see how it works. Watch this space.

For reference, items in brown are committees, blue reflects the Seanad, and green reflects the Dáil. 

9:30am: JOC on Jobs, Social Protection and Education – Joan Burton and Ruairí Quinn hold introductory sessions explaining their respective priority issues for the months ahead.

10:00am: Sub-committee on Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht – Little and large. The committee will be asked to approve funding of €115,000 to fund the Charitable Donations and Bequests Office, and €105m (!) to fund the office of the ‘Minister for Community, Equality and Gaeltacht Affairs’ (which didn’t exist at Budget time, and thus requires official approval).

10:30am: Leaders’ Questions in the Dáil and the Order of Business in the Seanad – The day’s two theatrical showcases clash, as the Seanad spends 75 minutes discussing the events of the day while the Dáil only gets 21 minutes to do likewise. The Dáil then moves onto the Order of Business at 10:51am, where the theatre continues, before…

11:21am: Questions to the Taoiseach – In today’s batch, the meta-questions: the Department of the Taoiseach takes parliamentary questions on how the Department of the Taoiseach takes parliamentary questions. There’s also some stuff on how the government will make itself more answerable to the Oireachtas.

11:45am: Statements and Q&A on agriculture and fisheries – Simon Coveney wanders up to the Seanad to take some questions on the general lay of the land(!).

[At noon the Dáil’s member’s interests committee will meet in private.]

1:00pm: Statements on the European Meeting45 minutes of blather about blather. Everybody wins!

1:45pm: The Cloyne Report – The main event of the day, as the Dáil discusses a yet-to-be-confirmed motion, to be backed by all sides, in the aftermath of last week’s publications. The first 1.5 hours out of a 2.5 hour discussion will take place before lunch at 1:30pm, with the remainder at 3:45pm.

3:00pm: Electoral (Amendment) Bill 2011, second stage – The Seanad gets its first chance to discuss a bill that limits spending on presidential elections (to €750,000), and which will skim a few TDs out of the Dáil while it’s at it.

4:00pm: JOC on Investigations, Oversight and Petitions – The Ombudsman, Emily O’Reilly, joins the committee to discuss exactly what the committee will do and how it will set about doing it.

4:15pm: Questions to the Minister for Social Protection – Among this week’s questions for Joan Burton: how quickly a company can re-hire someone they’ve just sacked, cash payments on top of rent allowances, and the provision of funding for school meals.

4:30pm: JOC on Foreign Affairs on Trade – Eamon Gilmore talks the committee through a draft bilateral agreement between the EU and Serbia. (There’s a similar one with Montenegro on the agenda for another time soon.)

5:00pm: Seanad PMB: SPHE teaching in schools – The Taoiseach’s nominees propose a motion inviting the Minister for Education to come and listen to its views on divorcing religious education from the Social, Personal and Health Education curriculum at first and second level.

5:30pm: Communications Regulation (Postal Service) Bill 2010 – The Dáil finishes its discussions on a miscellaneous bill that enshrines An Post as the national postal carrier, and also gives the Minister for Communications the right to introduce a postcode system.

7:00pm: Dáil PMB: Industrial Relations (FF) – The second of two days of debate on FF’s private bill which hopes, quote, “to make further and better provisions for promoting harmonious relations between workers and employers” in light of the recent Supreme Court decision to strike down Joint Labour Committee laws.

7:00pm: Matters on the Adjournment – Free rein for the Senators to have their shpake before school’s out.

8:30pm: Defence (Amendment) Bill [Seanad] 2011, to conclude – the Dáil has its final words on legislation amending how military tribunals and courts are governed.

10:00pm: Matters on the Adjournment – Four quick Dáil discussions on matters of the day, and it’s lights out.

As always, all of the week’s business can be viewed on our live Dáil and live Seanad streams. Links to the live streams of each committee meeting can be found by clicking into the details of that meeting on our interactive Committees calendar.