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Dublin: 5 °C Tuesday 12 November, 2019
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The Dáil is off for Christmas from today - get ready for an election

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

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Everyone’s talking about…

Enda Source: RollingNews.ie

The Dáil adjourning for Christmas.

Today is the last day of the term before TDs head off for the break, which also signals the start of election season.

While we’ve already seen plenty of electioneering, the end of this term means that the first few weeks of January will become a waiting game, as the opposition awaits Enda Kenny’s dissolution of the Dáil.

Of course, Kenny could throw a serious curveball – and change many Christmas plans – by announcing today that he is taking the trip to Áras an Uachtaráin in the next week.

While that is unlikely, the government’s largest advantage in calling an election is timing. While Kenny has that ace up his sleeve, expect him to use it to his advantage.

The last three weeks of January will see party conferences for Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and Labour. Reports this week say that Tánaiste Joan Burton was on high alert for an election to be called before she takes the stage in Mullingar.

Either way, enjoy next week, because after that it’s posters, pamphlets and promises.

Election 2016 is almost a go.

The agenda

  • Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan takes questions from 9.30am.
  • Three bills, on elections, assisted decision making and technical universities, come before the house at 10.45am.
  • Then it’s the last Leaders’ Questions of the year at 12pm.
  • The order of business kicks off at 12.21pm.
  • The Dáil adjourns for the year at 6.48pm.
  • The Seanad will hear four bills from 12.45pm.
  • The head of the HSE Tony O’Brien will be before the Health and Children Committee at 12.30pm to discuss overcrowding in emergency departments.

What the others are saying

  • The Irish Daily Mail reports that the government’s white paper on energy means the end of gas cookers.
  • The Irish Independent reports that Labour will pledge a €2 minimum wage increase if re-elected.
  • The same paper also claims that parents who smoke while their children are in the car will face a €100 fine.
  • The Irish Times quotes Health Minister Leo Varadkar as blaming high drug prices on greed
  • The Irish Examiner says that Michael Noonan will today announce that the nation’s finances will be balanced for the first time in a decade

In case you missed it

Good day for…

Arlene Foster. The Fermanagh/South Tyrone MLA is expected to be named the new leader of the Democratic Unionist Party and the North’s new First Minister today.

Bad day for…

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy. Casually strolling through a campaign stop in Galicia, Rajoy was punched in the face by a teenager.

On the Twitter machine…

Jimmy Deenihan and Heather Humphreys were at the Star Wars: The Force Awakens premiere last night. Either that, or they just signed the Declaration of a New Order establishing a Galactic Empire.

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