Two Oireachtas committees are meeting at short notice after the President warned he is being asked to consider too much legislation in too little time.
In the “unprecedented” letter to the Oireachtas, President Michael D Higgins said he was being sent too much “complex” to consider in short spaces of time.
He said he had been asked to consider 19 pieces since the beginning of July – including nine that were presented on one day.
He noted that many of the bills require detailed analysis of their Constitutional implications and some require legal advice or consultation with the Council of State.
He noted that he is required consider and sign each bill within seven days of receiving it and warned that the rushed nature of the submissions was a “pattern that has emerged in recent years.”
A special meeting of the Dáil's Business Committee and the Seanad's Committee on Procedure is now being held this afternoon to consider the letter.
However, Junior Minister Niall Collins told Newstalk that he does not believe there is a problem.
“Absolutely not,” he said.
“I think the public expect that we work hard and that legislation is processed and delivered. I think the public want to see our ambitious programme for Government delivered upon.
“If that creates a lot of legislation well then that is part of it and I think we all have to play our part for the betterment of the public and society.”
He said the high volume of the legislation sent to the President before this summer’s recess was necessary.
“We have a very ambitious programme for Government right across many, many sectors and it is a feature of our parliament over successive years that legislation gets processed through the Oireachtas at the end of term,” he said.
“And of course, we had curtailed sittings of the Oireachtas earlier on in the year due to COVID lockdowns.”
The special meeting gets underway at 2pm.