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Enda will be the 'most popular man in the world' next week

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

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Everyone’s talking about…

St. Patrick’s Day.

President Obama visit to Ireland - Day One Barack Obama and Enda Kenny pictured in Dublin in 2011. Source: PA Archive/Press Association Images

The Taoiseach is jetting off to the US today for his annual St Patrick’s week visit.

Enda Kenny’s trip will kick off in Atlanta, where he will act as the grand marshal of the parade there on Saturday.

Dave Fitzgerald, chairman of the Atlanta parade, told local media his team is “absolutely delighted” Kenny is taking part.

The Irish Prime Minister is the most popular man in the world on St. Patrick’s Day. Out of the tens of thousands of St. Patrick’s Day parades around the world, we’re absolutely delighted, and extremely honored, that Enda Kenny has chosen to come to Atlanta to be Grand Marshal of the 133rd St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

During his visit, Kenny will meet Georgia Governor Nathan Deal and Mayor of Atlanta Kasim Reed. He’ll also meet representatives from Coca-Cola and a number of other major investors in Ireland, before giving a keynote address at the Irish Chamber of Commerce of Atlanta.

On Sunday, Kenny will speak at the SXSW Music and Conference festival in Austin, Texas about “how the Irish economy has been growing repidly” and our reputation as “a location for launching startups and a leading tech and innovation hub”.

The Taoiseach will spend St. Patrick’s Day itself in Washington DC, where he give President Obama his bowl of shamrock at the White House, and attend a luncheon hosted by House Speaker John Boehner.

Obama St. Patrick's Day Source: AP/Press Association Images

Here’s where all the other ministers are jetting off to over the next few days – and who has to stay at home.

The agenda

  • As outlined above, the Taoiseach is heading to the US today - as is Tánaiste Joan Burton.
  • Dr Elaine Byrne (9.30am) and Frank McDonald (11.45am) will appear before the banking inquiry to discuss the relationships between politicians and bankers.
  • Communications Minister Alex White will be answering questions at 9.30am.
  • The health committee will debate the cost of prescription drugs at 9.30am.
  • The Public Accounts Committee will turn its attention to HSBC offshore accounts at 10am.
  • TDs will discuss the Children and Family Relationships Bill 2015 at 10.45am.
  • Leaders’ Questions will take place at noon.

Inside Leinster House

A former Labour Senator said he would “work out of a shoebox” if he had to, after being kicked out his office in Leinster House.

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What the others are saying

  • Hundreds of drugs cases will be affected by the loophole which made certain substances temporarily illegal, reports the Irish Examiner
  • Arts Minister Heather Humphreys is “deeply disappointed” after Dublin City Council’s decision to vote against proposals for a 1916 interpretive centre on Moore Street, according to the Irish Times
  • The same paper reports that the department of health and HSE are working on a new multi-million euro plan aimed at tackling hospital waiting lists.

In case you missed it

  • President Higgins signed an emergency law yesterday, making loads of drugs illegal (again).
  • Enda Kenny and Joan Burton strongly criticised Gerry Adams in the wake of fresh claims about abuse in the republican movement, while Paudie McGahon urged Sinn Féin to “tell the truth” about what happened to him. 
  • Central Bank governor Patrick Honohan came to ‘loggerheads with Pearse Doherty at the banking inquiry.

Source: Video TheJournal.ie/YouTube

On the tweet machine

TDs are very relieved certain drugs are now illegal … again.

Originally published: 9am

Read: Just how damaged is Gerry Adams?

Read: What have Enda and co achieved in the last four years?

About the author:

Órla Ryan

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