Dáil returns early, to debate garda Covid-19 powers

Dáil returns early, to debate garda Covid-19 powers

The Dáil returns today, following a curtailed summer recess, with Taoiseach Micheal Martin taking questions from Opposition leaders followed by a debate on Covid-19 legislation. 

It’s expected that Mr Martin will also name the new Minister for Agriculture, who will replace Dara Calleary following his resignation last month. 

There was a highly-charged and acrimonious conclusion to Dáil proceedings at the end of July. 

The House had to be suspended twice, amid chaotic scenes and vitriolic exchanges over proposed amendments to speaking rights. 

At two o’clock this afternoon, the Dáil returns – after being recalled by Taoiseach Micheal Martin two weeks early, amid controversy over the Covid crisis and fall-out from the Oireachtas golf society dinner. 

That event in Clifden led to the resignation of Dara Calleary, and his replacement as Agriculture Minister – widely tipped to be Donegal Minister of State Charlie McConalogue – should be known before lunchtime. 

There will subsequently be a debate on proposed legislation to empower gardaí to close pubs which are not complying with public health guidelines regarding Covid-19.

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