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State of the Nation

Will this man tell us why taxpayers had to repay bondholders?

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

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Everyone’s talking about…

Jean Claude Trichet will be in Dublin today, where he’ll face questions from the banking inquiry.

Europe Interest Rates Jean Claude Trichet AP / Press Association Images AP / Press Association Images / Press Association Images

The former European Central Bank (ECB) president won’t be making his way to Leinster House, however, as the banking committee goes on a tour of sorts.

Trichet will answer questions from committee members after a lecture at the Institute of International and European Affairs at the Royal Hospital in Kilmainham at 2.30pm.

He was in charge of the ECB when Ireland introduced the bank guarantee and entered the Troika’s bailout programme.

Committee members will have two 45-minute sessions in which to question Trichet.

Speaking on Morning Ireland, Labour Senator Susan O’Keeffe said the situation wasn’t ideal but noted that members were happy a compromise had been reached, as this approach was better than nothing and the committee didn’t want “to cut of its nose to spite its face”.

Trichet will no doubt be asked why taxpayers had to repay bondholders owed money by some Irish banks which were being liquidated.

This is a significant day for the inquiry, but whether or not Trichet will say anything new remains to be seen.

The agenda

  • The Taoiseach, Tánaiste, and Jobs Minister will attend a press conference to announce export results for Irish companies in 2014 – which have reached record levels – at 8.45am.
  • Brian Goggin, former Group Chief Executive of Bank of Ireland, will appear before the banking inquiry at 9am.
  • Arts Minister Heather Humphreys will be answering questions in the Dáil at 9.30am.
  • The Children and Youth Affairs Committee will discuss the Children First Bill at 10am.
  • Debate on the Spring Statement will resume in the Dáil at 10.45am.
  • Micheál Martin will launch Fianna Fáil’s campaign for a Yes vote in the same-sex marriage referendum at 11am.
  • Tánaiste Joan Burton will field Leaders’ Questions at noon.
  • As outlined above, Jean Claude Trichet will face questions from the banking inquiry at 2.30pm.

What the others are saying

  • Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin has branded the coalition’s plans to cut the Universal Social Charge as a “desparate” attempt to buy votes, reports the Irish Examiner.
  • Former Fine Gael junior minster Lucinda Creighton has said the government is happy to repeat mistakes made during the Celtic Tiger years, according to the Irish Times.
  • The Irish Independent reports that Fine Gael TDs are set to meet Communications Minister Alex White to discuss their concerns about pylons.

Inside Leinster House

Labour TDs are set to come under pressure to support another bill to repeal the 8th amendment.

In case you missed it

On the Twitter machine

This Fianna Fáil Senator isn’t too optimistic about the Trichet meeting.

Originally published: 9am

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