Today in Leinster House: October 2, 2012

AFTER CONDENSING the consideration of the Children’s Rights referendum into three days last week (and not the previously intended four), it’s back to four-day duty for the Dáil this week as the First Friday means opposition legislation.

Nonetheless, the week must begin somewhere…

1:30pm – Committee on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation – Getting the ball rolling, Committee Room 2 plays host to Seán Sherlock – who will be briefing members on a forthcoming meeting of the European Competitiveness Council – before hearing from IBEC and the Small Firms Association on their pre-budget submissions and on youth unemployment.

2:00pm – Questions (Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation) – The Dáil’s week begins with rostered questions to Richard Bruton, who will field queries on the credit guarantee scheme, the implementation of the jobs plan, and plans to reform the sick pay system.

2:00pm – Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine – Over in Room 3, the agriculture committee will meet Coillte CEO David Gunning and director Gerry Egan to discuss the forestry body’s 2011 annual report; as well as scrutinising no fewer than ten EU legislative proposals.

2:15pm – Committee on the Environment, Culture and the Gaeltacht – Given the extreme weather in some parts of Ireland today, the topic in Room 4 is an important one: Michael Kemp, CEO of the Irish Insurance Federation, will discuss the difficulties that some people have in getting home insurance, simply because they live in areas prone to extreme weather.

2:30pm – Order of Business – The Seanad’s week begins with the usual mundanities of the 75-minute free-for-all discussion.

3:15pm – Leaders’ Questions – Tuesdays mean Micheál Martin, Gerry Adams and the technical group lob the usual unscripted grenades at Enda Kenny…

3:36pm – Questions (Taoiseach) – …before dealing with slightly more sedate questioning on meetings during the London Olympics, the constitutional convention, and the abolition of the Seanad.

3:45pm – 31st Amendment to the Constitution Bill 2012 (second stage) – The main meat of the Seanad’s schedule for this week is the discussion on the children’s rights referendum, which kicks off with Frances Fitzgerald (FG’s former leader of the House) this afternoon. The debate will continue as long as it needs, though presumably no later than 9pm at least. Three matters on the adjournment will follow whenever everyone’s had their tuppenceworth.

4:36pm – Order of Business – TDs are allotted 30 minutes to decide on their day’s agenda, which ought not to take very long given the singular nature of the agenda…

5:06pm – Topical Issues – …before allotting 12 minutes to each of four newsworthy issues which will be discussed by ministers.

5:54pm – Healthcare and Social Care Professionals (Amendment) Bill 2012 (second stage) – James Reilly was a busy man last week, fielding legislation to abolish the HSE board, and he’s back again this week with a far less intense piece of legislation. This bill makes a number of housekeeping amendments to previous legislation, with the general intent of making sure medical organisations run as well as they ought to.

7:30pm – Private Members’ Business [Technical Group] – Motion re addition supports – Private time falls to the technical group this week; led by Maureen O’Sullivan, they propose a motion which notes that addiction problems cost twice as many lives as road traffic accidents, and calls on the government to prioritise addiction as a health issue and demand that prison programmes provide adequate supports for people with those problems. Debate continues until 9pm when the Dáil is adjourned; a vote is due tomorrow.

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