First full Dáil sitting takes place today minus Taoiseach

Twelve weeks on from the General Election the new Government finally sits this afternoon but leader of the house Enda Kenny will not be present.

After this morning’s weekly Cabinet meeting Enda Kenny will head to the US where he will attend a series of events marking the 1916 centenary.

Because of his absence, Tánaiste and Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald will answer parliamentary questions and take leaders questions from the Opposition.

Tonight the new minority administration faces it’s first test as Fianna Fáil will table legislation that would give the Central Bank powers to force banks to cut variable rate mortgage rates.

If the Government doesn’t accept it, the new administration could face its first defeat in a vote tomorrow night.

Fianna Fáil say they are confident the new legislation will work, however Minister for Finance Michael Noonan has said the bill has serious flaws with regard to constitutionality.

There will also be a meeting of Labour Party TDs and senators in Leinster House as the party decides if it is going to have a contest or agree a new leader among its seven TDs, with Brendan Howling and Alan Kelly seen as the two most likely contenders.

Enda Kenny will join US Vice President Joe Biden to formally open the Ireland 100 festival in the Kennedy Centre for the Performing Arts.

The three-week arts festival is the centrepiece of the events commemorating the 1916 Rising in the US.

The Taoiseach will plant an Irish oak tree on Capitol Hill tomorrow to mark the centenary.

When he returns to Ireland later in the week he will announce his line-up of junior ministers and 11 appointments to the Seanad.