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State of the Nation

Move over Renua, there could soon be ANOTHER new party in town

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

Updated 11.40am 

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Everyone’s talking about…

Could there be another new party in town?

Catherine Murphy Dail Scenes Catherine Murphy Sam Boal / Photocall Ireland Sam Boal / Photocall Ireland / Photocall Ireland

The Irish Times, Irish Independent and Irish Examiner all report that independent TDs Catherine Murphy, Róisín Shortall and Stephen Donnelly are holding talks about the potential of forming a new political party.

The Times quotes Shortall as saying she is “very keen” to talk to people about the issue, while it states that Murphy and Donnelly both said they are in talks with a number of other people.

This morning Donnelly told us he couldn’t confirm anything but did say:

I am talking to people. I’m not in a position to discuss those talks out of respect for the confidentiality of the people I’m talking to.

The names of independent senators Katherine Zappone, Jillian van Turnhout and Averil Power have also been thrown into the mix, but the latter two have said they have not been involved in any talks. has contacted Murphy and Shortall for comment.

This morning, we also asked independent Tipperary South TD Mattie McGrath if he’d be getting involved:

Shortall resigned from Labour in September 2012, having served as junior health minister. Murphy, meanwhile, has been making a lot of headlines recently due to her work in relation to the IBRC investigation and controversial Siteserv deal.

donn and ross Stephen Donnelly and Shane Ross Photocall Ireland Photocall Ireland

Donnelly was previously tipped to join Shane Ross’ alliance of independents, but ruled himself out. He was also linked with a move to Fianna Fáil, but this never came to pass.

As Lucinda Creighton’s Renua Ireland begins to find its feet, is Ireland ready for another new political party?

One thing’s for sure, election season is just around the corner.

Inside Leinster House


There were lively scenes during Leaders’ Questions as Paul Murphy accused the government of “hiding” payment rate figures for water charges.

The agenda

  • Environment Minister Alan Kelly will answer questions at 9.30am.
  • Liam O’Reilly, former CEO of the Irish Financial Services Regulatory Authority, will appear before the banking inquiry at 9.30am, with Brian Patterson, former chair of the IFSRA, answering questions at 2.30pm.
  • Affordable childcare will be the topic up for discussion by the health and children committee at 9.30am.
  • The Public Accounts Committee will discuss the restructuring and administration of student grants with officials from the Department of Education at 10am.
  • Tánaiste Joan Burton is due to answer Leaders’ Questions at noon.
  • The EU affairs committee will discuss the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) at 2pm.
  • Representatives of the Irish Fiscal Advisory Council will appear before the finance committee at 2pm.
  • Senators will debate the national minimum wage at 2pm, before turning their attention to the GP service bill at 4.30pm.

What the others are saying

  • Shane Ross has criticised the practice of appointing judges to head commissions of investigation, according to the Irish Times.
  • The same paper reports that Fine Gael TDs are calling for the telephone allowance to be restored for pensioners in the next budget.
  • The Irish Independent notes that new media merger guidelines will give the communications minister power to decide if a proposed merger is in the public interest.

In case you missed it

On the Twitter machine

Fine Gael has selected Children’s Minister James Reilly and TD Alan Farrell to run for election in Dublin Fingal.

Read: Pearse Doherty on latest Denis O’Brien allegations: Prove I’m wrong

Read: Was there any ‘nod nod wink wink behaviour’ at IBRC?

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