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Dublin: 5 °C Wednesday 11 December, 2019
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FG cancels 'year in power' photocall after Rabbitte criticises 'silly' event

The ‘year in office’ photocall planned for Merrion Square is called off after Pat Rabbitte labels the event “a bit silly”.

Fine Gael TDs applaud Enda Kenny after his election as Taoiseach. An event planned for today to mark the party's first year in power has been cancelled.
Fine Gael TDs applaud Enda Kenny after his election as Taoiseach. An event planned for today to mark the party's first year in power has been cancelled.
Image: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

FINE GAEL has cancelled an event planned for later today, to mark the party’s achievements in a year in government, after criticism from a senior Labour minister.

The event had been planned for Merrion Square for lunchtime, and had been billed as an “opportunity to reflect on the progress that has been made over the last year”.

This morning, however, Fine Gael called off the event after communications minister Pat Rabbitte described the event as “a bit silly”.

The communications minister, on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, added that he hoped the event would be “a once off”.

His comments followed an Irish Examiner report suggesting Labour figures were displeased at the event, with one source telling Paul O’Brien that Fine Gael was trying to “award itself ‘medals’”.

In a brief press statement Fine Gael said it had been “presumed that the Labour Party would be planning an event similar to the one scheduled by Fine Gael”.

“When it was discovered that this was not the case, it was deemed inappropriate to proceed,” the statement said, adding that the parties remained committed to meeting the challenges facing the country.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore had held a press event yesterday to mark the first anniversary of the coalition taking power, at which they hailed a year of returning “stability” to Ireland.

Read: Taoiseach: Government has a lot done, more to do >

Caption competition: What are Enda and Eamon talking about? >

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Gavan Reilly

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