Just three weeks into the new Government, it was confirmed last night that TDs will get around three months’ holidays from the Dáil this summer, writes Daniel McConnell and Elaine Loughlin.
The longer than normal break is being caused by needed extensive renovations to the Leinster House complex.
Fine Gael TDs and Senators were told at a meeting of the parliamentary party this evening that the Dáil will most likely rise on July 7th and will return later than usual in September, due to the repair works to the upper levels of the old Leinster House building.
Normally, the Dail returns in mid-September, but it is now expected it could be closer to October when both houses return, meaning TDs and Senators will be free from Leinster House duties for more than 12 weeks.
New Government chief whip, Meath East TD Regina Doherty, said via Twitter that a final decision has not yet been made and said “any schedule will be based around works to be carried out”.
She also said it will not affect the sittings of Oireachtas committees who can sit even when the Dail has risen.
But the elongated holidays were criticised by Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin.
He said it was not a welcome development for such a long break to be taken.