Today in Leinster House: April 27, 2012

For the first time in a long time, it’s a five-day week for the Seanad as it tries to make inroads on the Social Welfare Bill. There’s also a couple of committee meetings with luminary guests.

9:30am – Social Welfare and Pensions Bill 2012 (second stage) – Having finally cleared the Dáil, the Seanad gets to sink its teeth into the Social Welfare bill. But while the Dáíl spent four days discussing its general ambit, the Seanad gets just 150 minutes, with a vote at 2:30pm in order to allow for a brief break.

10:00am – Sub-committee on the Fiscal Compact referendum – In Room 3, the sub-committee on the fiscal compact holds its last hearing – with SIPTU president Jack O’Connor explaining his union’s reservations about the treaty.

11:00am – Implementation of the Good Friday Agreement – It’s one of the glamorous ones in Group 4. Former Maine senator George Mitchell – the man who chaired the negotiations that ultimately led to the 1998 Good Friday Agreement – makes a return visit to the cross-border committee to discuss the matters that have affected Northern Ireland in the intervening 14 years.

12:30pm – Protection of Employees (Temporary Agency Workers) Bill 2011 (remaining stages) – Several months after its provisions were adopted into de facto law, the Seanad finally gets a chance to wrap its consideration of legislation which gives equal legal rights to temporary agency workers as their full-time equivalents.

2:30pm – Social Welfare and Pensions Bill 2012 (committee stage) – With so many potentially controversial provisions in the legislation, Senators will vote on including each of them before they have to go home and face their voters at the weekend, with a guillotine vote on all outstanding sections at 6pm so that they’re put to bed before Senators head home.

6:00pm – Matters on the Adjournment – The week ends with Senators getting a chance to discuss a few matters in the news and close to their constituencies hearts before turning out the lights and hitting the road.

All of the day’s business can be viewed on our Seanad streams for web and Facebook.