Oral Hearings

Attending formal Oireachtas committee meetings

Before the meeting

For security purposes witnesses are asked to supply the name and contact details of every person attending the hearings. Witnesses give copies of their speaking notes to the committee clerk, for circulation to committee members and parliamentary reporting staff.

Dress Code

The established practice is that witnesses and other visitors to Leinster House should wear a business suit, or similar clothing in keeping with the status of parliament.

Arrival in Leinster House

Ideally, witnesses and visitors should arrive at least fifteen minutes before their scheduled speaking time, unless advised otherwise by the committee clerk.

Witnesses and visitors should arrive at the Kildare Street Gate. Ushers will direct them to the committee rooms.

At the committee meeting

Witnesses should address their comments, or their replies to members' questions, to the chairman, and to committee members. There is no need to turn microphones on or off, as the sound operator will do this. Avoid banging the table, or tapping it with fingers or pens, because the sound will be picked up by the microphones. Bear in mind that signs and gesticulations will not form part of the official report, and may even interfere with video coverage.

Chilled water is available in the area outside the committee rooms. While in committee rooms, witnesses may drink only water provided on the desks, and may not smoke, eat, record proceedings, take photographs or applaud.

Be aware of the duration of your presentation your speaking slot may be short, due to the volume of business before the committee. Due to time constraints, you may find it more effective to summarise the contents of the formal presentation and highlight the salient points. Please advise the committee clerk whether your statement/presentation may be released to the media.

After your presentation, a question and answer session will be held. Because the committee chairman may permit a few members to pose questions before taking replies, you should take a note of the various questions, in order that you do not overlook any of the questions raised.

If you intend to refer to documentation, please forward copies to the clerk in advance, in order that copies can be made available to members. Note that it is not appropriate to 'display' documents to the committee. If you undertake to forward additional material in response to a question, that material should be forwarded to the clerk of the committee, who will distribute it to all committee members.

If you are using electronic presentation aids, remember that only the spoken word forms a part of the official record of the meeting.

During the meeting, please do not walk around the room because you might inadvertently block the camera views.

Videos of the meeting

If you require a copy of the video of the meeting (c €19 per copy), please send an e-mail to broadcast@oireachtas.ie, or telephone (01) 618 3789 to request same. If you make your request one day before the meeting (and provide a contact number for any queries), the video will be available as soon as possible after the meeting concludes. For more information, please contact the Broadcasting Unit at (01) 618 3789.


Witnesses will be sent a transcript of their appearance before the committee for verification. The final transcripts are available from Government Publications.

Transcripts of the Joint Committee hearing on Family can be found here:

Joint Committee
Family Issues: Presentations.

Joint Committee
Family Issues: Presentations.

Joint Committee
Family Issues: Presentations.

Joint Committee
Family Issues: Presentations.

Joint Committee
Family Issues: Presentations.

Joint Committee
Family Issues: Presentations.

Joint Committee
Family Issues: Presentations.

Access to the public gallery

Members of the public are permitted to attend oral hearings but for security purposes they must be sponsored by a member of the Oireachtas. Individuals who wish to attend are advised to contact their local TD or Senator to arrange clearance.

Persons in the public gallery

Persons seated in the public gallery may not take notes, smoke, eat, drink, record proceedings take photographs or applaud. Persons in the public gallery should not attempt to communicate with witnesses or members of the committee.