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Coistí Parlaiminte - Parliamentary Committees


Each House of the Oireachtas has power under its Standing Orders (Rules) to form Committees for specific purposes. There are four types of Committees – Standing, Select, Joint and Special (rare).

Standing Committees – Standing Orders provide for the automatic creation of such Committees in a new Dáil or Seanad e.g. Committee of Public Accounts, Joint Committee on Consolidation Bills.

Select Committees – Comprise membership of one House only, whether Dáil or Seanad

Joint Committees – Comprise Select Committees from both Houses sitting and voting together under common Orders of Reference

Special Committees – Established for the sole purpose of considering a specific Bill.

Most Committees meet in public session and their proceedings are televised. Representatives of the media and members of the public may attend.


Tá cumhacht ag gach Teach den Oireachtas, faoina Bhuan-Orduithe (Rialacha) Coistí a cheapadh chun críoch sonrach. Tá ceithre chineál Coiste ann – Buanchoiste, Roghchoiste, Comhchoiste agus Coiste Speisialta (neamhchoitianta)

Buanchoistí – Tá foráil sna Buan-Orduithe go gceaptar Coistí den sórt sin go huathoibríoch tar éis do Dháil nó Seanad nua teacht le chéile e.g. an Coiste um Chuntais Phoiblí, an Buan-Chomhchoiste um Billí Comhdhlúite.

Roghchoistí – Comhaltaí ó aon Teach amháin, cibé acu an Dáil nó an Seanad, a bhíonn orthu.

Comhchoistí – Is Roghchoistí iad sin den dá Theach ina suí agus ag vótáil le cheile dóibh faoi chomh-Orduithe Tagartha.

Coistí Speisialta – Bunaítear iad d’aon toisc chun Bille sonrach a bhreithniú.

Tagann an chuid is mó de na Coistí le chéile i seisiúin phoiblí agus déantar na himeachtaí a theilifísiú. Ceadaítear d'ionadaithe an phreasa agus do dhaoine den phobal a bheith i láthair.


Each House decides the Orders of reference, membership and powers of Committees. It is the practice for Committee membership to be proportionally representative of the House which sets it up. Committee Reports are published and it is for the House (s) thereafter to decide on any follow up action. With the exception of the month of August, Committees meet throughout the year.

Cinneann gach Teach na téarmaí tagartha, an comhaltas agus na cumhachtaí a bhíonn ag Coiste. De ghnáth bíonn comhaltas Coiste ionadaitheach go cionúireach do chomhaltas an Tí a cheapann é. Foilsítear Tuarascálacha Coistí ach is faoin Teach/faoi na Tithe atá sé a chinneadh cén gníomh a dhéanfar dá éis sin. Cés moite de mhí Lúnasa, bíonn Coistí ag teacht le chéile i rith na bliana ar fad.

The expansion in the number and range of Committees in recent years has enabled the Houses to deal with an ever-increasing volume of parliamentary business while providing Members with additional opportunities to participate in all aspects of the work of Parliament.

Ó tharla go ndearnadh méadú ar líon agus ar chúraimí na gCoistí le blianta beaga anuas, tá na Tithe in ann déileáil le sceideal síor-mhéadaitheach gnó parlaiminte agus deiseanna breise a thabhairt, ag an am céanna, do Chomhaltaí pairt a ghlacadh i ngach gné d’obair na Parlaiminte.

All Committees have a secretariat and, where necessary, are provided with a budget to engage specialist or technical assistance. Some Committee Chairpersons are members of the Opposition and it is not the practice for Ministers or Ministers of State to be Chairpersons.

Bíonn rúnaireacht ag gach Coiste agus, más gá, bíonn buiséad ag roinnt acu d’fhonn comhairleoirí a fhostú chun cabhrú leo. Is comhaltaí den Fhreasúra roinnt de na Cathaoirligh Choiste agus ní hé an nós Airí ná Airí Stáit a bheith ina gCathaoirligh ar Choistí.

As required, Ministers are ex officio members of Dáil Select Committees when they are considering Bills or Estimates for Public Services. In the case of the Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Joint Committee on European Affairs, Irish MEPs (including Northern Ireland MEPs) and members of the Irish delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe can attend and participate at their meetings but they do not have voting rights. These Committees can also invite MEPs of other Member States to attend under similar conditions. The orders of reference of some Committees also allow for the appointment of substitute members or indeed the attendance of members of the Houses who are not formal members.

De réir mar is gá, bíonn Airí ina gcomhaltaí ex officio de Choistí agus i gcás an Chomhchoiste um Ghnóthaí Eachtracha agus an Chomhchoiste um Ghnóthaí Eorpacha, tig le Comhaltaí Éireannacha de Pharlaimint na hEorpa (lena n-áirítear Comhaltaí ó Thuaisceart Éireann) agus le comhaltaí de thoscaireacht na hÉireann chun Comhdháil Pharlaiminteach Chomhairle na hEorpa freastal ar a gcruinnithe agus páirt a ghlacadh iontu ach níl aon chearta vótála acu. Chomh maith leis sin, tig leis na Coistí sin cuireadh a thabhairt do Chomhaltaí Pharlaimint na hEorpa ó Bhallstáit eile freastal ar a gcruinnithe faoi na coinníollacha céanna. Ceadaíonn téarmaí tagartha roinnt Coistí, comhaltaí ionaid a cheapadh agus ceadaíonn siad do chomhaltaí na dTithe nach comhaltaí foirmiúla den Choiste iad, freastal ar a gcruinnithe.


Committees common to each House

i. Committee on Procedure and Privileges (considers matters relating to Standing Orders and Members' privileges).

ii. Committee on Members' Interests (performs the functions conferred on it by the Ethics in Public Office Acts, 1995 and 2001)

Dáil Committees

Committee of Public Accounts (responsible for examining and reporting on reports of Comptroller and Auditor General on Departmental expenditure and certain other accounts)

Joint Committees of both Houses

Listed hereunder are the Joint Committees which consider certain standard aspects in relation to specified Government Departments including:

(i) public affairs administered by the Department as it may select including bodies under the aegis of the Department in respect of Government policy

(ii) matters of policy for which the Minister is responsible as it may select

(iii) related policy issues as it may select concerning bodies which are partly or wholly funded by the State

(iv) proposals for EU legislation and related policy issues as may be referred to it from time to time

(v) the Strategy Statement of the Department as laid before the Houses

(vi) certain Annual Reports (and Accounts) of bodies under the aegis of Departments (does not apply to the Joint Committee on European Affairs)

(vii) such other matters as may be referred to the Committee from time to time.

  • European Affairs *
  • Foreign Affairs
  • Arts, Sports, Tourism, Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs
  • Justice, Equality, Defence and Womens' Rights
  • Social and Family Affairs
  • Enterprise and Small Business
  • Agriculture and Food
  • Environment and Local Government
  • Finance and the Public Service
  • Transport
  • Health and Children
  • Education and Science
  • Communications, Marine and Natural Resources.

* deals with European matters only and has no Departmental scrutiny function.

The Committee of the Houses of the Oireachtas (Compellability, Privileges and Immunities of Witnesses) Act, 1997 provides for designated Committees legally to compel the attendance of witnesses in certain circumstances and provides for certain immunities for witnesses so compelled.

There are also Select Committees of Dáil Éireann. These Committees have the same names as the Joint Committees. The same Deputies are members of both Committees. These Select Committees have responsibility for dealing with the Committee stages of Bills referred to them by the Dáil and with the Estimates for Public Services (essentially the annual expenditure proposals) for Government Departments and international agreements involving a charge on public funds.

Other Committees of the Houses

i. Joint Committee on Broadcasting and Parliamentary Information (responsible for televising of Oireachtas proceedings and monitoring the operation of the Information and Public Relations service for the Houses and their Members collectively)

ii. Joint House Services Committee (responsible for the administration of the Oireachtas Restaurants, bars and shop and for assisting and advising the Ceann Comhairle and the Cathaoirleach in the direction and control of the Oireachtas Library).

The powers of Committees depend on their orders of reference and include or relate to:

  • Power to send for persons, papers and records
  • Power to receive submissions and hear evidence from interested parties or groups
  • Power to discuss and draft proposals for legislative change
  • Power to print and publish minutes of evidence and related documents
  • Power to require attendance of Ministers to discuss current policies
  • Power to require attendance of Ministers to discuss proposals for legislation
  • Power to require attendance of principal office holders in bodies in the State which are wholly or partly funded by the State.

STANDING JOINT COMMITTEE ON CONSOLIDATION BILLS

From time to time, it becomes necessary to codify statute law. Where this arises, the Committee Stage of a Consolidation Bill, with the agreement of both Houses, will be dealt with by this Committee. The Attorney General certifies that such a Bill does not involve the creation of new law.

STANDING JOINT COMMITTEE ON STANDING ORDERS (PRIVATE BUSINESS)

This Committee consists of three members of each House and a Chairman who may be a member of either House nominated jointly by the Ceann Comhairle and Cathaoirleach. The reports of the Examiner of Private Bills can be referred to the Joint Committee which in turn will nominate the members to the Joint Committee on a Private Bill.


For more detailed information, please contact

Public Relations Office, Leinster House, Dublin 2, Ireland.
Tel: (01) 618 3066 / 3166
Fax: (01) 618 4118

E-mail: info@oireachtas.ie


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