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Summer 2024 Government Priority Legislation Programme

The Government has published the summer Legislative Programme which identifies 53 priority pieces of draft legislation (Bills) for progression in the summer sitting of the Dáil. The programme identifies 29 bills that will be prioritised for publication and 24 bills prioritised for drafting.

In launching the programme, Government Chief Whip, Hildegarde Naughton TD stated:

Since my appointment as Government Chief Whip in December 2022, Government has overseen the enactment and publication of 106 pieces of legislation, all of which contribute towards making life a little bit easier for families, for workers, for farmers and for society as a whole.”

The complete summer Legislative Programme 2024 can be accessed online.

We take a look at some of the key changes these draft Bills will usher in, and what is on the legislative horizon.

Policing and defence

In fulfilment of the Government’s objective of making the streets safe for people, a number of measures are in progress. Most notably is the Life Sentences Bill, which will allow judges to impose a minimum sentence to be served before parole can be considered. Allied to this, the Garda Síochána (Recording Devices) (Amendment) Bill is at an advanced stage in drafting. It will legislate for the controversial use of facial recognition technology (FRT) for serious offences.

The Criminal Justice (Terrorist Offences Amendment) Bill is to give effect to EU law on fighting terrorism and particularly the foreign terrorist fighter phenomenon.


Following on from the autumn and spring legislative programmes, this is a continuing priority.

The Health (Amendment) (Licensing of Professional Home Support Providers) Bill features again. It aims to establish a regulatory framework for licensing home support providers. The goal is to ensure that all service users receive high-quality care in accordance with HIQA national standards. Work is still ongoing with the Health (Amendment) Bill which will amend the Health Act 2004, by introducing corporate governance, planning and budgetary measures.

Meanwhile, the heads of the Prohibition of Conversion Practices Bill have been prepared with the aim to prohibit conversion therapy/practices in Ireland. Whilst not a priority piece of legislation, work this summer will take place on The Northern Ireland (Planned Healthcare Scheme) Bill. The legislation will introduce a statutory scheme enabling persons resident in the State to access and be reimbursed by the HSE for private healthcare in Northern Ireland. Similarly, work is underway for the Health (Alteration of Criteria for Eligibility) Bill, which aims to extend eligibility for medical cards in cases of terminal illness.

Housing and property

The draft of the Residential Tenancies (Right to Purchase) Bill has concluded its detailed examination (pre-legislative scrutiny) phase. The Bill will afford tenants in rental properties a right of first refusal to purchase those properties when they are put up for sale. It is earmarked for publication this summer. The long-awaited Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill had its Heads of Bill approved in January 2024. This Bill will amend the Housing Acts to provide for more social housing, the regulation of Approved Housing Bodies and amendments to the Building Controls Acts.

Heads of Bill are in preparation for the Remediation of Defects in Apartments and Duplexes Bill. The legislation aims to provide for the establishment of a remediation scheme for apartments and duplexes with fire safety, structural safety and water ingress defects, constructed between 1991 and 2013.

Public sector

Work is continuing on the Civil Service Regulation and Public Service Management (Amendment) Bill. This aims to amend the Civil Service Regulations to provide for amendments to the disciplinary action including dismissal procedures. The drafting of the Statue Law (Revision) Bill is still underway which aims to remove obsolete legislation for the period 1821 to 1860 from the statute books.


Heads are also in preparation for The Electoral (Amendment) Bill, which will provide for amendments to the Electoral Reform Act 2022 to ensure that they comply with EU Law. Work is still ongoing on the long-awaited Defamation (Amendment) Bill which has appeared as a priority in several previous priority legislative programmes. So too is the Access to Cash Bill, which was brought about following the Government’s Retail Banking Review in November 2022, to preserve access to cash and regulate ATMs and Cash in Transit operators.


The summer Legislative Programme 2024 reflects a continuation by the Government of priorities such as housing and healthcare, which was also addressed in the previous spring and autumn Legislative Programmes. With the recent election of a new Taoiseach, it remains to be seen if these priorities will come to fruition.

For more information on the Summer Legislative Programme, contact a member of our Public, Regulatory and Investigations team.

The content of this article is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute legal or other advice.

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