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State of the Nation

Are you more likely to vote for an independent TD?

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

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Everyone’s talking about…

Shockwaves are still being felt following Senator Averil Power’s resignation from Fianna Fáil.

ice2 Independent Senator and Independent TD Finian McGrath, who could end up in competition for a seat in Dublin Bay North, taking part in the Ice Bucket Challenge.

Many of her former colleagues have said Power’s decision was politically motivated, with Senator Thomas Byrne stating there was “no doubt” about this.

Meanwhile, one senior party figure told Power “hadn’t done the work to get selected at [the Dublin Bay North] convention and yet she wanted to be the only candidate”.

Power has insisted she hasn’t decided whether or not she will run in the constituency as an independent candidate in the general election.

Some people have said she’s more likely be elected without being associated with Fianna Fáil, while others thinks it will be too much of a stretch without the party machine behind her.

We want to know what you think:

Are you more likely to vote for an independent TD?

Poll Results:

No (3624)
Yes, I'm done with political parties (2993)
I don't know (786)
Yes, I always have (649)

Inside Leinster House

Bobby arrival

The country’s newest TD, Bobby Aylward, was introduced to the lower house. Amid jovial scenes in the chamber, it emerged that former Fianna Fáil Senator Averil Power was asked to leave her office to make way for the new Carlow-Kilkenny representative.

The agenda

  • The banking inquiry will have three sessions today: Tony Grimes, former Director General of the Central Bank (9.30am); Mary Burke, Central Bank of Ireland/ Irish Financial Services Regulatory Authority (2.30pm); Con Horan, Central Bank of Ireland/IFSRA (4.15pm).
  • Children’s Minister James Reilly will answer questions in the Dáil at 9.30am.
  • TDs will debate the potential sale of Aer Lingus at 10.45am, after the cabinet agreed to dispose of the government’s 25.1% share. Discussion will continue later this afternoon before a vote tomorrow. 
  • The Taoiseach will face a grilling during Leaders’ Questions at noon.
  • Tom Curran, partner of the late Marie Fleming, and Gail O’Rorke will be in the Dáil today to meet independent TD John Halligan to discuss a bill on assisted dying.
  • Senators will debate the minimum wage (12.45pm) and health services for people with intellectual disabilities (4.30pm).
  • Finance Minister Michael Noonan will appear before the finance committee at 5.15pm to discuss new consumer protection laws.
  • Day two of debate on a Fianna Fáil-proposed motion denouncing the treatment of parents whose babies died at Portlaoise Hospital will take place during Private Members’ Business at 9pm.

What the others are saying

  • Senator Averil Power thinks Fianna Fáil used her to cover up its lack of gender strategy, according to the Irish Examiner.
  • The same paper reports that rape victim Mairia Cahill has urged Sinn Féin to clarify whether four people linked to the party are prepared to defend her attacker if the charges went to trial.
  • A number of publications note that Justin McAleese, son of former President Mary McAleese, has said Fianna Fáil treated Averil Power “abysmally”.

In case you missed it

On the Twitter machine

The president of Ógra Fianna Fáil defended the party’s approach to marriage referendum canvassing.

Originally published: 9am

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

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