Miriam Lord’s Week: Overshadowed committees seek to steal back limelight
Here’s the provisional schedule for next week – Justice: Discussion re: Urban policing for the 21st century. Witnesses: Mr Fran and Mr Nidge.
The green-eyed monster has been working overtime in Leinster House over the last couple of weeks as the Public Affairs Committee sucks up the limelight.
Hardworking TDs and Senators are a bit put out over all the attention their PAC colleagues are getting in the media. And it must to be said, there is a certain swagger at the moment about these Rumpoles of the PAC.
Committee work has always been viewed as the unglamorous side of parliamentary duty. Some take their participation very seriously, others dip in and out when the mood takes them or merely show up when it’s their turn to speak and leave when they’re done.
With further high-profile PAC sittings in the offing, desperation is setting in for the overlooked members of other, equally busy, committees.
Here’s the provisional schedule for next week:
Justice: Discussion re: Urban policing for the 21st century. Witnesses: Mr Fran and Mr Nidge.
Environment: Proposals on a directly elected mayor for the Dublin Metropolitan Region. Witness: Mr Rob Ford, Mayor of Toronto. (tbc)
Transport: The role of tele- portation in allowing greater access to rural pubs for aul’ fellas. Witnesses: Cdr Chris Hadfield and William Shatner.
Foreign Affairs and Trade: Draft general scheme for awarding honorary citizenship to big celebrities and exchequer funding for same. Witness: Mr Bono.
Arts and Heritage: A review of oversight and accountability in the area of boy bands. Witness: Mr Niall Horan, representative of One Direction. Ticket only. Media registration required.
Education: The place of Home Economics in the national curriculum. Witnesses: Mr Phil Hogan, omelette expert, and Ms Nigella Lawson.
Take that, Pacmen!
We’d better get in early to bag our seats.
Better than Christmas: Enda’s imminent announcement of St Patrick’s Day jaunts
There’s a very, very important Cabinet meeting taking place on Tuesday.
It’ll be like Christmas morning in Government Buildings when the excited Ministers troop in. Because Tuesday is when the Tánaiste tells them where they are going for St Patrick’s Day.
The annual exodus was mentioned at Cabinet a couple of weeks ago, when Eamon Gilmore reminded the troops to get in their requests before the deadline.
“It’s a bit like the CAO – you give your preferences, then see what you get” says one ministerial source.
“Some people call them the CIG forms,” says another. “As in, Can I Go?”
The various ports of call have to be nailed down early in the year so that host embassies abroad can prepare for the visit.
But destinations won’t be announced publicly until nearer the departure dates. State agencies have a huge interest in who nabs what trip. If their line Minister gets a good gig in some nice exotic location, they get to go too.
The Taoiseach, Tánaiste and Buddha Noonan can choose their own destinations.
Enda, as one would expect, is off to the US again.
This time, he has volunteered to do three cities – New York, Washington DC and Boston. That’ll take some stamina.
Fianna Fáil fidgeting as Feeney tears strips off rivals
The Reform Alliance rally in the RDS today is not the only big political event on in Dublin 4 this weekend. Tomorrow Fianna Fáil holds its Dublin selection convention for the European elections in a Ballsbridge hotel.
Delegates were invited to a taster event this week when the party hosted pre-selection hustings at the Davenport Hotel chaired by Timmy Dooley TD. The three candidates, Cllr Mary Fitzpatrick, Tiernan Brady, a director of Glen (the Gay and Lesbian Equality Network), and former senator Geraldine Feeney, addressed the crowd, and this was followed by a question-and answer-session.