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Dublin: 5 °C Monday 9 December, 2019
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What have Enda and co achieved in the last four years?

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

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Everyone’s talking about…

The last four years.

Fine Gael Conferences Richard Bruton and Enda Kenny Source: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland

On 9 March 2011, the Fine Gael Labour coalition took office, promising a “democratic revolution”. At the time, the country was still in the depths of a recession, and reeling from the effects of the property crash and banking collapse.

So, what has the government achieved since then?

Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Tánaiste Joan Burton will give us their answer to that question at Government Buildings this afternoon. The pair will launch the coalition’s four-year progress report and set out the government’s stall for its last year in office.

Speaking on Morning Ireland, Jobs Minister Richard Bruton said:

Obviously some elements of the crisis are over, but the legacy issues that are left behind will take many years to resolve.

Bruton said the government’s work is still “in progress”, such as dealing with mortgage arrears, and investing in health and education.

“Every time we get someone back to work, that’s a life back on track,” he stated.

Earlier on the same programme, Fianna Fáil’s finance spokesperson Michael McGrath admitted his party had made mistakes, but said it left a “solid foundation” for recovery.

Bruton cited the fall in unemployment and emigration figures as positive signals that the country has turned a corner.

We’ll find out the government’s plan for the home-stretch of its time in office later today.

The agenda

  • The weekly Cabinet meeting will take place this morning, with ministers expected to discuss the Irish text of the upcoming same-sex marriage referendum. There has been criticism that the wording gives the right to marry to same-sex couples, but not opposite sex couples.
  • Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Tánaiste Joan Burton are set to launch the government’s four-year progress report at 1.15pm.
  • Richard Bruton will discuss the government’s Action Plan for Jobs with the jobs committee at 1.30pm.
  • Transport Minister Paschal Donohoe will be answering questions in the Dáil at 2pm.
  • Enda Kenny will face the opposition during Leaders Questions at 3.15pm.
  • Senators will focus on the ambulance service in Dublin (4.45pm), cross-border illicit trade (5.15pm), and Ireland’s diaspora policy (6.15pm).
  • Journalist Simon Carswell will appear before the banking inquiry at 5pm.
  • TDs will debate the Marriage Equality Bill after discussing topical issues at 5.06pm.
  • Private Members Business (7.30pm) will focus on a Sinn Féin-proposed bill calling for emigrants to be allowed to vote in presidential elections. 

Inside Leinster House

Mattie McGrath said he has “support from all sides of the house” for a bill calling for the phrase “incompatible with life” to be banned. 
It will be interesting to see if the legislation is passed, on foot of the defeat of Clare Daly’s bill allowing for abortions in cases of fatal foetal abnormalities. Last week, Labour TD Michael McNamara introduced a similar bill to Daly’s.

What the others are saying

  • Finance Minister Michael Noonan is set to press the European Commission to give greater budget flexibility to EU member states, reports the Irish Times
  • Several papers report that Cork’s 96FM has apologised and paid undisclosed damages to junior health minister Kathleen Lynch after presenter Neil Prendeville suggested she only commented on Donal Walsh’s death to generate good publicity for herself.
  • Health minister Leo Varadkar is considering six sites for a new €300 million hospital in Cork, according to the Irish Examiner. 

In case you missed it

  • A meeting of Cork City Council was abandoned after a protester occupied the chamber and refused to leave.
  • Micheál Martin and Enda Kenny have differing views over the Fennelly report delay.
  • Here’s what we learned from our interview with the Taoiseach. 

hugh and enda Source: Nicky Ryan/TheJournal.ie

On the tweet machine

It’s that time of year again…

Originally published: 9am

Read: Gerry and Mary Lou prepare to rally the troops

Read: Why aren’t Enda and Joan getting credit for seriously good economic numbers?

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Órla Ryan

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