Today in Leinster House: May 17, 2012

A decent framework of bones in the Dáil and Seanad today, with plenty of meat added in an early flurry of committee meetings.

9:30am – Health (sub-committee) – There are two ministers seeking extra money for their Department running today, and both of them are in Room 2. James Reilly is first in, seeking extra allotments for the Department of Health as well as the HSE.

9:30am – Communications, Natural Resources and Agriculture – It’s a little more downbeat in Room 3, meanwhile, where the agriculture committee talks about plans to eliminate late payments in the Dept of Agriculture, and hears about that department’s six-monthly update for the EU.

10:00am – Public Accounts Committee – In Room 1, members discuss spending at the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources as well as the Office of Public Works.

10:00am – Justice, Equality and Defence – Today, May 17, is the International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia. To discuss the current situation in Ireland, members will hear from BeLonGTo, Linc, Outhouse, Transgender Equality Network Ireland, Gay and Lesbian Equality Network, Marriage Equality, and An Garda Síochána.

10:30am – Leaders’ Questions – It’s Thursday, so Eamon Gilmore will be taking the leaders’ questions against the deputy leaders of Fianna Fáil, Sinn Féin and the technical group.

10:30am – Order of Business – The Seanad’s day begins with the usual 75-minute free-for-all on anything and everything.

10:51am – Order of Business – TDs get 20 minutes to check up on the status of some of the government’s promised measures.

11:11am – Statements on 44th Plenary of the British Irish Parliamentary Assembly – The biannual congress of the British-Irish Parliamentary Assembly, a body consisting of members of the Houses of Parliament and Tithe an Oireachtas, took place on Monday and Tuesday. Here, there will be two hours of general feedback and thoughts on the findings of the meetings.

11:45am – Companies (Amendment) Bill 2012 [Seanad] (second stage) – This relatively benign piece of legislation will amend the accountancy rules which companies must abide by, and generally tweaks other minor provisions in company law.

11:45am – Children and Youth Affairs (sub-committee) – Frances Fitzgerald follows James Reilly into room 2 to secure extra Budget allocations for the Department of Children and Youth Affairs.

1:11pm – Credit Guarantee Bill 2012 (second stage resumed); European Arrest Warrant (Application to Third Countries and Amendment) and Extradition (Amendment) Bill 2011 (second stage resumed) – Two pieces of legislation to fill up the Dáil’s day; the first is on the government’s plan to offer a guarantee for loans for SMEs; the second extends the countries to which an EU arrest warrant applies, and makes some changes to extradition laws enforcing those warrants.

1:45pm – Discussion on the Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance in the Economic and Monitory Union – It’s free rein in the Seanad: with no ministers around to lead any formal discussion, the members are left to their own devices to hold a debate (curiously, on the schedule it’s down as being infinitely long with no ‘end’ time) on the merits or demerits of the Fiscal Compact.

3:42pm – Topical Issues – Four newsworthy items are discussed for 12 minutes apiece, with ministers on hand to respond.

3:45pm – Matters on the Adjournment – Whenever the Seanad’s Fiscal Compact chat is done -we’re arbitrarily giving it two hours here – Senators discuss a few miscellaneous items before clocking off for the week.

4:30pm – Questions (Minister for Defence) – Alan Shatter brings the week to a close with questions to the Minister for Defence; he will answer inquiries on the future of the Reserve Defence Forces, the role of Irish troops bound for peacekeeping duty in Syria, and the cost of running Air Corps flights to monitor any illegal turf-cutting below.

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