Dáil adjourns today for nine weeks

House not due to sit again until September 18th


The Dáil adjourns tonight for its summer recess. The House is not due to sit again until September 18th, nearly nine weeks from now.

When TDs return from holidays the Seanad referendum campaign will be nearing completion and the Coalition will be well into the most intensive phase of the Budget process.

The referendum date has not yet been fixed but the poll is expected in late September or early October. In line with new EU rules, the Budget has been brought forward to October 15th. Talks on the fiscal plan for 2014 coincide withthe Government’s push to exit the bailout in Decenber.

Committee debates continue in Leinster House until the end of this month and resume in September but the Dáil recess essentially marks the official end of the political season.

The Seanad recess starts next week after the conclusion of the fractious debate on the Protection of Life during Pregnancy Bill. It remains unclear whether President Higgins will sign the legislation directly into law or ask the Supreme Court to test its constitutionality.

The parliamentary recess coincides will the the winding down of official Government business ahead of the August break. While the Cabinet gathers today in Dublin for a special meeting on jobs, the weekly Government meeting next Tuesday may be the last until September. However, there may yet be further Cabinet meeting on Tuesday week.

Today’s plenary session of the Dáil is the 66th since the start of the year. The Dáil first met this year on January 16th, having been in recess for almost four weeks over Christmas. The Easter recess was for almost three weeks between March 28th and April 16th.

No less than 32,390 parliamentary questions from TDs have been processed since the start of the year.

In the same period a total of 25 Acts have been enacted by TDs and Senators. This includes the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation Act 2013, landmark emergency legislation to liquidate the former Anglo Irish Bank and scrap the promissory note scheme.

Other routine legislation enacted by Oireachtas in that period includes the Finance Act to give effect to Budget 2013 and the Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest Act 2013 to cut public pay above €65,000 and cut public pensions.

A total of 84 Bills have been initiated since the start of the year, including the Houses of the Oireachtas (Inquiries, Privileges and Procedures) Bill 2013 to facilitate the establishment of a banking inquiry.

Most were initiated by the Government but there were some private members’ Bills among. Draft legislation from the Government must await the resumption of Dáil business in the autumn before their continuings its passage through parliament.