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Will Fine Gael and Labour come to blows over Aer Lingus sale?

Here’s everything you need to know about what’s happening in Irish politics right now…

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Everyone’s talking about…

Enda Kenny has confirmed the Cabinet will discuss the potential sale of Aer Lingus today.

Gay Marriage Equality Referendums Enda Kenny and Joan Burton Source: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland

This morning the Irish Times reports that the coalition has secured “significant concessions” from IAG and a sale of the State’s 25% stake in the airline is “increasingly likely”.

The paper said an expert group report commissioned by Transport Minister Paschal Donohoe is “strongly supportive of the deal”.

At Government Buildings today, Kenny said Donohoe “has received the report and he will present it at Cabinet”, adding: “I haven’t seen it.”

IAG has reportedly made commitments to the government on Aer Lingus’ coveted Heathrow slots, the use of Cork and Shannon airports, and the creation of new routes and jobs.

Aer Lingus decision Source: PA Wire/Press Association Images

Speaking on Morning Ireland, Labour TD Joe Costello – who has been critical of the potential sale – said he is unsure of what concessions IAG has made, other than what he has read in the papers this morning.

I haven’t a clue in reality, other than the rumours …Remember the first offer was made in December last year – so it’s six months down the road before we’ve got what seems to be a firm offer coming from IAG.

“We have not got an opportunity to go through the details and we expect to do that in due course,” he added.

IAG has offered to pay about €1.36 billion for Aer Lingus, or €2.55 per share. Unions have raised concerns about the sale, claiming it could lead to job losses.

All eyes will be on the government later to see what call it makes, and if both Fine Gael and Labour will agree.

Inside Leinster House

Senator Averil Power Resigns Averil Power Source: graphy: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

Senator Averil Power’s former Fianna Fáil colleagues reacted angrily to her shock departure from, rallying around party leader Micheál Martin.

Her announcement will overshadow Bobby Aylward’s return to the Dáil after winning the Carlow-Kilkenny by-election.

The agenda

  • UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s visit continues today, with a trip to Government Buildings and an event with young people in Iveagh House Gardens. 
  • Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald will answer questions in the Dáil at 2pm.
  • The first Leaders’ Questions of the week will take place at 3.15pm.
  • The banking inquiry will have a private meeting at 3.30pm.
  • TDs will debate legislation on terrorist offences at about 6pm.
  • Drugs Minister Aodhán Ó Ríordáin will discuss the National Drug Strategy in the Seanad at 7pm.
  • Fianna Fáil will propose a motion denouncing the treatment of parents whose babies died at Portlaoise Hospital, during Private Members’ Business at 7.30pm.

What the others are saying

  • The Irish Times reports that the coalition has won “significant concessions” from IAG and the sale of the state 25% stake in Aer Lingus looks increasingly likely. 
  • Children’s Minister James Reilly thinks the 8th amendment of the Constitution should be repealed, according to the same paper. 
  • The Irish Independent reports that Public Expenditure Minister Brendan Howlin has described union demands for nearly €500 million in public pay restoration as a ‘bluff’. 
  • Anti-water charge protesters say the deputy Lord Mayor of Cork Mary Shields refused to accept a petition of 15,000 Irish Water boycott signatures, according to the Irish Examiner

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Originally published: 9am

About the author:

Órla Ryan

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