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Dublin: 3 °C Saturday 14 December, 2019
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Gerry and Mary Lou prepare to rally the troops

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

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Everyone’s talking about…

Sinn Féin’s time in the spotlight.

Easter Rising Commemorations Mary Lou McDonald and Gerry Adams Source: PA Wire/Press Association Images

Fine Gael and Labour had their national conferences over the last two weekends, but focus has now shifted to Sinn Féin as the party’s Ard Fheis kicks off in Derry tomorrow.

Gerry Adams and Mary Lou McDonald are all set to rally the troops, as the party looks to capitalise on unprecedented levels of support.

That is provided Adams can drag himself away from Twitter long enough to write his speech.

Seriously though, the party is expecting about 2,000 delegates to attend what could be the party’s last Ard Fheis before the next general election.

Sinn Féin’s support clearly extends far beyond Ireland.

Today, the Irish Times has a five-page spread on how the party has raised $12 million (€10.8 million) from 15,000 American donations – including some from Hollywood stars and big businesses – in the last 20 years.

All eyes will be on Adams and co this weekend and the party takes another step closer to power in the Republic.

The agenda

  • Joan Burton will be answering social protection-related questions at 9.30am.
  • Frances Fitzgerald will appear before the Justice Committee to discuss the Children and Family Relationships Bill 2015 at 9.30am.
  • The Health Committee will look into the cost of  prescription drugs at 9.30am and 11.15am.
  • Representatives from the Small Firms Association and the Irish Schools Arts Supply Federation will meet with members of the Public Accounts Committee at 10am, while Public Expenditure Minister Brendan Howlin will appear at noon
  • TDs will debate bills on betting and gender recognition from 10.45am.
  • The Tánaiste will again have the floor during Leaders’ Questions at noon
  • Senators will be focusing on workplace relations at 1.15pm.

Inside Leinster House

IAG hasn’t gone away you know. Transport Minister Paschal Donohoe released a statement yesterday evening confirming that the government’s inter-departmental steering group met with with company earlier in the day.He said another meeting will take place next week. Is IAG about to make another offer for Aer Lingus, following Donohoe shooting down its previous bid?

What the others are saying

  • A Dáil report has called for an independent review of how compensation payouts to vulnerable people are invested by the State, after €1.47 billion was wiped out during the recession, according to the Irish Examiner.
  • Finance Minister Michael Noonan has said it’s time to stop “scapegoating” property developers, reports the Irish Independent.
  • Fine Gael and Labour have both expressed concerns about the effectiveness of measures in place to help those in mortgage arrears, according to the Irish Times.
  • The same paper reports that Health Minister Leo Varadkar said there is “no evidence” that banning alcohol from sponsoring sporting events would help tackle excessive consumption among young people.

In case you missed it

Source: Video TheJournal.ie/YouTube

On the tweet machine

One for the history buffs.

Originally published: 9am

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About the author:

Órla Ryan

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