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State of the Nation

Out with the old: Bertie's office sold to fund Fianna Fáil's election campaign

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

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Everyone’s talking about…

Several outlets are reporting this morning about the sale of St Luke’s, former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern’s old constituency office.

St Lukes for Sale Sam Boal / Photocall Ireland Sam Boal / Photocall Ireland / Photocall Ireland

The sale of the 1,900 square foot property on 161 Lower Drumcondra Road was agreed at a meeting of the party’s Ard Comhairle last night.

A spokesperson for Fianna Fáil confirmed the house was sold for €774,000, well above the asking price of €595,000.

The Irish Times notes sources as saying the money raised will be used to paid down debt and help fund the party’s upcoming general election campaign.

The cost of running the property was examined by the Mahon Tribunal in 2008. The trust who bought the house released ownership in 2012, and it was put on the market in March.

The agenda

  • 9.30am-6pm: The banking inquiry is set for two long sessions today. Kevin Cardiff, former Secretary General at the Department of Finance (whose leaked statement has been referred to gardaí) will answer questions from 9.30am–1pm, while John Moran, another former Secretary General at the department, and Derek Moran, current Secretary General, will attend from 2.30pm-4.15pm and 4.15pm – 6pm respectively.
  • 9.30am: Arts Minister Heather Humphreys will answer questions in the Dáil.
  • 9.30am: The Health and Children Committee will discuss affordable childcare.
  • 10am: The Public Accounts Committee will look into the accounts of the Department of Agriculture.
  • 10.45am: TDs are set to debate the following bills: Consumer Protection (Regulation of Credit Servicing Firms) Bill 2015Teaching Council (Amendment) Bill 2015Houses of the Oireachtas (Appointment to Certain Offices) Bill 2014Children (Amendment) Bill 2015 (Seanad)
  • Noon: Tánaiste Joan Burton will answer Leaders’ Questions.
  • 1pm: Minister for Business and Employment Ged Nash will meet with the Jobs Committee to discuss the Industrial Relations (Amendment) Bill 2015.
  • 1.30pm: Public Expenditure Minister Brendan Howlin is set to announce a framework on public sector disclosure of interests and related matters. The development is part of the government’s plan to give effect to the recommendations of the Mahon Tribunal.
  • 3pm: The Dáil will discuss the Urban Regeneration and Housing Bill 2015.
  • All day: The Taoiseach will meet British Prime Minister David Cameron at Number 10 Downing Street. Enda Kenny will also visit the Irish Women Survivors Support Network at Whispering Hope Centre in Kentish Town. The centre provides support to survivors of Irish institutional care, including the Magdalene Laundries.

File Photo David Cameron is preparing for another term as Britain's Prime Minister as the UK general election put his Conservative Party on the brink of securing an absolute majority in the House of Commons. David Cameron and Enda Kenny (File photo). Mark Stedman / Photocall Ireland Mark Stedman / Photocall Ireland / Photocall Ireland

Inside Leinster House

A spokesperson for the Oireachtas said there was “absolutely no truth” in rumours female ushers were asked to make themselves scarce when an Iranian delegation visited Leinster House this week.

What the others are saying

  • A number of papers note that over €160,000 was donated to political parties last year, according to the Standards in Public Office Commission (Sipo).
  • A group established by the Department of Justice to look into reforming the Direct Provision system recommends asylum seekers’ income be doubled, according to the Irish Times.
  • The Irish Examiner reports that Communications Minister Alex White has rejected criticism of forthcoming legislation aimed at regulating the privacy impact of Eircode.

In case you missed it

On the Twitter machine

We’re on board with this.

Originally published: 9am

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