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Ministers have some good news, and they’ll be telling us about it all day

There’ll be a sustained eight-hour media assault by Cabinet members and State agency bosses today, as the Government marks the end of the bailout.
Dec 13th 2013, 6:15 AM 8,176 83

THE GOVERNMENT IS planning an intensive media blitz today ahead of the country’s official exit from the bailout this weekend.

While they won’t quite be shouting the good news from the rooftops, Cabinet members will be waxing lyrical about their achievements pretty much anywhere in Government Buildings where there’s a level-enough surface to balance a microphone and room enough to cram in a few dozen reporters.

The Government Press Office says the schedule is being arranged “in response to the high volume of media interview requests and general international media interest”. The last of EU-IMF reviews concluded last month, with Finance Minister Michael Noonan declaring the event a ‘red letter day’ for the country. The three year arrangement formally comes to an end on Sunday.

Early start

Richard Bruton is first out of bed; the Jobs Minister gets the ball rolling for the coalition with a ‘breakfast briefing’ in Government Buildings at 8am. He’s followed on the schedule by Social Protection Minister Joan Burton, while Noonan and Public Expenditure Minister Brendan Howlin will give another of their trademark joint press conferences at 10.30am.

After that, an hour-and-a-half has been cleared for media outlets to carry out “as many one-on-one interviews as possible” with Government ministers.

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Control of the PR drive will be handed over to other officials and State agency bosses in the afternoon. First up, there’s a ‘panel discussion’ with the Department of Finance, the Department of Public Expenditure, the ESRI and the NTMA. The last of the major events – with Forfás, the IDA, Enterprise Ireland and tourism bosses – should be wrapped up before 4pm, leaving plenty of time to have all the material nicely packaged up for the evening TV bulletins.

Don’t expect charm initiative to end there however; Taoiseach Enda Kenny (who will be benching himself for today’s media events) will be making a TV address to the nation on RTÉ 1 this Sunday night, after the main evening news. ‘Room to Improve’ will begin slightly later than its scheduled 9.30pm start.

Read: After 12 reviews and at least a few “discordant words,” Noonan and Howlin bid farewell to the troika

Read: Tough decisions ahead regardless of Troika involvement – Minister

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Daragh Brophy

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