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State of the Nation: What effect will Maíria Cahill's claims have on Sinn Féin?

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

EACH WEEKDAY MORNING, TheJournal.ie brings you a comprehensive guide to what’s happening in the political world.

Everyone’s talking about…

Maíria Cahill’s meeting with the Taoiseach.

Mairia Cahill meets Taoiseach Enda Kenny Maíria Cahill speaking to the media yesterday. Source: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland

Following their 90-minute encounter yesterday, Enda Kenny described Cahill as “a courageous, confident young woman who is a force to be reckoned with”. The Belfast woman claims she was raped by a senior member of the IRA and then subjected to an interrogation by other members of the paramilitary group.

During Leaders’ Questions, Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams came under pressure from Kenny and Fiann Fáil leader Micheál Martin regarding what he knew about Cahill’s allegations. Martin compared the IRA’s practice of getting abusers to leave Northern Ireland to the Catholic Church moving paedophile priests to a different parish.

The Taoiseach asked Adams if he or any of his associates were aware of sex abusers who were moved to ‘safe houses’ in the South. Adams in turn asked Kenny if he would meet with those against whom Cahill has made accusations. He said he would.

With several questions remaining unanswered and more alleged victims of abuse coming forward, many people are looking at Adams to provide answers. The controversy could well affect Sinn Féin’s rating in the Sunday Business Post’s political opinion poll due this weekend.

  • Four accused by Mairia Cahill respond to allegations

The agenda…

  • The Taoiseach is in Brussels today, meeting with other European leaders to discuss climate change targets. 
  • 10.00: Representatives from the National Paediatric Hospital will appear before the Public Accounts Committee to discuss the group’s finances.
  • 11.30: The head of the HSE Tony O’Brien will attend a meeting with the Health Committee.
  • 12.00: Tánaiste Joan Burton will be taking the floor during Leaders’ Questions.

What the others are saying…

  • The Irish Times is leading with Enda Kenny’s trip to Brussels, saying that the Taoiseach will ask his EU counterparts for climate change concessions for Ireland due to the country’s “heavy dependence” on agriculture.
  • Many of today ‘s papers cover a report carried out by DKM Economic Consultants on behalf of the Government’s Housing Agency which states that rent regulation would reduce supply in the market.
  • In other housing news, the Irish Independent is reporting that the Government plans to bypass the Central Bank’s recently announced home-loan rules and allow first-time buyers get onto the property ladder with a 10% deposit.

In case you missed it…

  • There was a massive row in the Dáil yesterday leading to three TDs being kicked out and debate being suspended almost seven hours ahead of schedule. 
  • Alan Kelly doesn’t think Irish Water should pay any bonuses to staff. 
  • It other Irish Water news, its managing director John Tierney has said that the company needs to deal with customers “in a fantastic way”. This might need some work.
  • Senators have agreed to recognise the State of Palestine.
  • Phil Hogan is now officially the EU Agriculture Commissioner.

On the Twitter machine… 

Luke Ming Flanagan is asking the big questions.

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About the author:

Órla Ryan

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