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Enda Kenny has been the main questioner at Leaders' Questions since 2002 - but will be answering questions from the other side of the Dáil today.
Enda Kenny has been the main questioner at Leaders' Questions since 2002 - but will be answering questions from the other side of the Dáil today.

Kenny to face first Leaders' Questions as Taoiseach

After eight and a half years asking the questions, today Taoiseach Enda Kenny will answer them for the first time as leader.
Mar 15th 2011, 9:03 AM 417 0

TAOISEACH ENDA KENNY will face his first session of leaders’ questions as head of government today, when the new Dáil meets for its second session.

The Dáil resumes business at 2:30pm, with a 20-minute discussion as Fianna Fáil’s Micheál Martin, Sinn Féin’s Gerry Adams, and the nominal head of the technical group Joe Higgins all press questions.

Eamon Gilmore is entitled to also ask questions of the Taoiseach, but as Tánaiste it would be unprecedented for him to do so.

The remainder of the day’s business is occupied by a motion essentially ratifying the programme for government, offering TDs on both sides of the house a chance to air their opinions on the Fine Gael-Labour deal ahead of an inevitable victory.

That debate will wrap up at 7:3opm, after which the Dáil will adjourn until next week in order to allow some members of the cabinet travel abroad for St Patrick’s Day.

Unusually for a second day in action, there is no provision – at present – for Kenny to formally announce the identities of the Ministers of State, which are usually announced to the Dáil as a matter of procedure.

A number of first-time TDs still haven’t been assigned offices in Leinster House, meaning there is some understandable reason for the Dáil to remain adjourned until next week.

Today’s meeting will be the only official business in Leinster House this week; the Oireachtas committees remain suspended until the Seanad elections take place in May, so that new members can be appointed to them.

Pending those elections, the Seanad remains suspended indefinitely.

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Gavan Reilly

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