Today in Leinster House: September 28, 2011

The second day of a three-day week, with the Dáil’s business largely taken up by uneventful legislation while the committees take a quiet day and the Seanad arranges its day around a single flagship session.

Here’s what’s on the agenda today.

10:30am – Leaders’ Questions – The Dáil’s marquee event will see Enda Kenny up in the stocks once more, as Micheal Martin, Gerry Adams and the Technical Group do their best to lob some rotten tomatoes his way.

10:30am – Order of Business – Upstairs in the Seanad, meanwhile, members will kick off a rather more sedate discussion on what they should talk about in future.

10:51am – Order of Business – Having gotten Leaders’ Questions out of the way (which no doubt will be late), TDs also get down to discussions on where different legislation is, and when it might be expected to show up.

11:21am – Insurance (Amendment) Bill 2011 [Seanad] (to conclude); Veterinary Practice (Amendment) Bill 2011 (second stage) – The Dáil will spend the morning having its last look at the bill putting a new levy on insurance premiums to ensure the viability of Quinn Insurance, before taking a look at a relatively straightforward bill to loosen up the veterinary trade (essentially allowing non-vets to perform certain tasks).

11:45am – Address to Seanad Éireann by Dr Maurice Manning – The main item of the day upstairs is an address from Dr Maurice Manning, the president of the Irish Human Rights Commission, the Chancellor of the National University of Ireland, and a former Fine Gael member of both the Dáil and Seanad. Two hours have been assigned for this but it’s unlikely that it will all be needed. Another string to Manning’s bow: he is the first outsider to address the Seanad since it agreed to allow visits and input from ‘persons in public and civic life’.

2:30pm – Questions (Minister for Health) – James Reilly steps up to bat. Among the questions due his way: hygiene standards in hospitals, the potential link of the swine flu vaccine to narcolepsy, funding for a national prostate cancer screening programme, and the strikes at the Mid-Western Regional Hospital in Limerick.

3pm – Foreign Affairs and Trade – In the day’s only public committee meeting (there are three others, but all are listed as private), Labour’s Jan O’Sullivan, the Junior Minister responsible for foreign aid, guides members through the annual report of Irish Aid and Ireland’s general budget on foreign aid. The Horn of Africa will no doubt be a major talking point. Room 1.

3:45pm – Topical Issues – Four issues, 12 minutes, and one minister for each.

4pm – Private Members’ Business [Labour] – The upper-house members of the junior coalition partner have tabled a bill discussing the planned layoffs in TalkTalk in Waterford; the nub of it is that companies – particularly those employing large numbers of people – should have to give more than the usual 30 days’ notice of layoffs.

4:33pm – as 11.21am – After ministerial questions, the Dáil gets back to business, getting through its two bills of the day.

6pm – Matters on the Adjournment – Four items of daily importance get an airing in the upper house before closing time.

7:30pm – Private Members’ Business [Technical group] – The second session of discussion on Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan’s motion condemning the government for prioritising (fiscally, at least) the welfare of the banking sector ahead of the creation of new jobs. The government will propose an amendment to make the motion more favourable to itself; the Dáil will break at 9pm to vote on the amendment, then (assuming the amendment is carried) the amended version, and then everyone will go home.

As always, all of the day’s business can be viewed on the streams: