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Dublin: 7 °C Friday 22 November, 2019
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Time is running out and nobody wants to dance with each other

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

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Everyone’s talking about…

PastedImage-37512 All smiles during the 2011 election campaign. Source: Julien Behal/PA Archive

Maybe Gerry Adams hasn’t played poker in a while because it kind of feels like he showed his hand a little early yesterday, catching even his own party off guard.

Yesterday morning the Sinn Féin leader appeared to be making some subtle eyes in Micheal Martin’s direction, refusing on a number of occasions to rule out a coalition with Fianna Fáil when the option was put to him.

Saying only that his party “would not do what Labour did”, seemed to be one of the heaviest nods to his preference.

Later on, his party rushed to poor cold water on the relationship before it starts, saying that such a scenario is “extremely unlikely”.

Interestingly though, even the party statement wouldn’t rule out the possibility completely, saying that they’d only consider it under a certain set of circumstances.

‘If’ is always a good place to start negotiations.

Predictably, Fine Gael have been all over this talk. The Taoiseach himself was the first to get a dig in at the Dáil yesterday, pushing the line that they’re one and the same.

Such talk may be premature, but it’s also understandable and inevitable as the election approaches. And with Sinn Fein staying around the 20% mark in the polls, they will be part of the post-election shake up regardless of what happens.

Expect this line to be repeated over and over from Fine Gael over the next few months.

The agenda

  • James Reilly, who recently ruffled Fine Gael feathers over his comments on abortion, faces questions on his brief at 9.30pm.
  • Leaders questions, if you’re into that kind of thing, is at noon.
  • Later tonight in the Dáil, Sinn Féin’s motion on homelessness gets its second day of debate at 9pm.
  • In the committees, chairperson of the Classification of Films Appeal Board, formerly known as the censor, faces members at 9.30am.
  • Representatives from the Environmental Protection Agency will be discussing fracking from 9.30am.
  • The Seanad begins business from 10.30am and among other things will debate the Social Welfare and Pensions Bill.  

Inside Leinster House 

In this case, maybe outside Leinster House might be more apt. Drugs Minister Aodhán Ó Ríordáin went on a walkabout of the alleyways of Dublin as part of his campaign for supervised injection centres.

It’s a tough job etc…

AOR Source: TheJournal.ie/Daragh Brophy

What the others are saying

  • The final draft of the Oireachtas banking inquiry will be given to members this morning reports The Irish Times
  • Fianna Fáil hasn’t yet decided whether to back Enda Kenny’s plan for a constitutional convention on abortion according to the Irish Independent.
  • Joan Burton, meanwhile, is one person who is on board with the Taoiseach’s plan according to The Irish Examiner.
  • The Irish Examiner also reports that returning emigrants are driving up the social welfare budget.   

In case you missed it

Good day for.. 

Eamon Gilmore TD. Any day you’re named a a Global Thinker of the year is a good day, right?

Bad day for…  

Senator Paul Bradford. Regardless of your thoughts on the abortion debate, giving a medical opinion when you’re not a doctor is never a good idea.

On the Twitter machine  

It’s not everyday that a Hollywood film star lobbies an Irish government minister, enter Mark Ruffalo.

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About the author:

Rónán Duffy

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