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Three party leaders meet ahead of Hogan decision

The coalition has been rocked by resignations and calls for those in the public eye to step aside.

The meeting was described as
The meeting was described as "good" with issues being "smoothed over" this morning.
Image: Sam Boal

TAOISEACH MICHEÁL MARTIN met with Tánaiste Leo Varadkar and Green Party leader Eamon Ryan this morning after what has been a disastrous couple of days for the government. 

The coalition has been rocked by resignations and calls for those in the public eye to step aside, amid public fury over an Oireachtas Golf Society dinner in Clifden last week.

EU Commissioner Phil Hogan, who attended the dinner last week, has today given a “detailed report” to Ursula von der Leyen on the golf meeting controversy.

Hogan has now made the report public.

The European Commission President had sought clarity from Hogan on his movements and the circumstances surrounding them last week.

Her decision on Hogan’s position is due to be made public later today.

It is believed that the three party leaders made their views on whether Hogan should stand aside known to one another. The Taoiseach and Tánaiste have already called on Hogan to consider his position. 

However, whether Hogan holds on to his job is a matter for the EC president to decide.

A Covid Cabinet sub committee was due to meet tomorrow, however it is understood that the Taoiseach, Varadkar and Ryan met instead this morning to draw a line under the controversies of the last week. 

The programme for government sets out that the three party leaders will meet each week to discuss and put to bed any controversies that might arise. 

The meeting was described as “good” with issues being “smoothed over” this morning.

Party leaders are understood to be very focused on the reopening of schools now.

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The Hogan issue was discussed, but it is understood the Taoiseach, Tánaiste and Minister for Transport are awaiting on von der Leyen’s decision on Hogan.

The party leaders also discussed the issues relating to the reopening of schools and the latest Covid restrictions.

Today’s party leaders’ meeting comes ahead of Friday’s Cabinet meeting where the issues on the agenda include school reopenings, Covid restrictions and the new enforcement laws that gardaí will be able to use to close down events breaching the rules.

Whether Hogan stays on will also be one of the main issues to be discussed by ministers at the end of this week. 

It is believed that the Leaving Certificate and the calculated grades system is also an issue on the government’s radar, with more work needed to ensure it is a fair system.

The matter will be raised at next week’s Cabinet meeting.

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