What is thought to be the biggest piece of legislation to ever come before the Houses of the Oireachtas is garnering all party support.

The 2012 Companies Bill has 1429 sections and 25 constituent parts.

Fianna Fáil’s Dara Calleary described it as a phenomenal job of work that tidied up existing legislation, but he queried the ability of statutory agencies to enforce its provisions given the strain on existing resources.

Earlier, Minister for Enterprise, Jobs and Innovation Richard Bruton said the bill was the culmination of years of work by his department and the Company Law Reveiw Group.

The bill places private companies limited by shares centre stage and contains many reforms in relation to directorships, the holding of annual general meetings and companies entering examinership.

It also incorporates various findings and recommendations of the Moriarty Tribunal in relation to company law.

Sinn Féin's Brian Stanley also welcomed the bill and said it was the third successive occasion when Minister Bruton had introduced legislation that his party supported.

However, he said he was concerned about vagueness around some of the terms defining the behaviour of company directors.

Independent Mattie McGrath said he was shocked at the size of the bill and asked if it could have been split into smaller pieces of legislation.

The Companies Bill, he said, stretched to 1,300 pages and would cost €109 to buy, quite a lot for a small business operator.