It is a myth that politicians get three months summer holidays, as even though the Dail met for the last time this week TDs and senators are scheduled to attend a total of 88 meetings over the holiday season. According to a Government press release at the start of the ‘Silly Season’ this month, Oireachtas Committees will in fact continue to be extremely active during this Dáil and Seanad recess.
Chairman of the Working Group of Committee chairs, Noel O’Flynn TD stated: “There is a perception that TDs and senators go on holidays when the Dáil and Seanad rises and that they spend this time taking it easy and relaxing. The immediate busy work programme of Oireachtas Committees shows this to be an untrue representation.
“Over the course of the upcoming weeks, as well as engaging in their usual constituency demands, Oireachtas members from all parties and none will continue to be occupied with committee work in Leinster House.”
Scheduled meetings are for the month of July with a break for August, with more meetings from early September. Among the issues to be considered are a review of the electoral system; addressing concerns in the taxi industry through a Transport Committee meeting with SIPTU and the National Taxi Drivers’ Union; the Health Committee is to hold a hearing with the Minister for Health, the HSE CEO, and hear from thalidomide survivors representatives; the Committee on Economic Regulatory Affairs will meet with Matthew Elderfield to consider a paper on banking supervision published by the Central Bank; the Social Protection Committee is meeting St Vincent de Paul Society to hear about the impact the financial climate is having on its service delivery; the Environment Committee will launch its report on the Management of Severe Weather Events in Ireland; and the Committees on European Affairs and on European Scrutiny will launch a report of the Review of the Role of the Oireachtas in European Affairs. It looks like it could be a busy summer for politicians after all.