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'Clearly there is a heightened risk of something going wrong'

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

Updated: 1.45pm

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Everyone’s talking about…

The banking inquiry may be on the verge of collapse. Again.

After a late-night meeting, the committee has pushed back the deadline to agree its final report.

17/11/2007. Labour Conferences Ciarán Lynch Source:

The new deadline is 27 January – just 24 hours before the legal requirement of publishing the report. Sources last night said the tight schedule means there is a high probability the report will not be finalised in time.

However, speaking after the meeting, committee chairman Ciarán Lynch said the report’s agreed deadline should not be affected by amendments to the second draft of the report, due to be discussed tomorrow.

To ensure that members have sufficient opportunity to examine the draft and suggest changes, the committee agreed to take extra time to table amendments to the report.

“Committee consideration of amendments will now take place on Friday, 4 December. While this requires some adaptions within the programme schedule, it will not impact on the report’s agreed deadline,” Lynch said.

The inquiry has cost about €5 million to date.

Fianna Fáil’s finance spokesperson Michael McGrath, who is a member of the committee, told Morning Ireland the draft report is “still very much a work in progress”.

The draft that we are considering is in the best state that it has been thus far, but it does require further work and all of the members are engaging in that process.

McGrath said that the lack of time available to the committee is “an extremely challenging situation”, adding: “Clearly there is a heightened risk of something going wrong.”

Speaking on the News at One, Sinn Féin’s finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty said the committee is determined to publish the report. However, he admitted the time frame means there is a risk this won’t happen.

27/8/2015 Anti Water Charges Campaigns Pearse Doherty Source: Sam Boal/RollingNews,ie

Doherty said he has only submitted amendments to chapter one of the report so far, noting there are ten chapters and an executive summary. The deadline to submit amendments is 6pm.

If he had his way he said he would propose “well over 100″ amendments, but knows this is not realistic.

Doherty noted that he has “always been of the view that public expectations of the report would never be realised”, noting: “We couldn’t say Brian Cowen wore a blue jumper on the day if he thought his jumper was red.”

The agenda

  • Leo Varadkar will be answering deputies’ health-related questions at 9.30am.
  • James Reilly will attend a meeting of the Children and Youth Affairs Committee at 9.30am.
  • Officials from the departments of finance and public expenditure and reform will meet members of the Public Accounts Committee at 10am.
  • TDs will debate bills on climate action, the dissolution of the Dublin Docklands Development Authority, and child care from 10.45am onwards.
  • The Health Committee will discuss the HPV vaccine at 11.15am.
  • The final Leaders Questions of the week kicks off at noon.
  • Senators will discuss the Finance Bill 2015 at 12.45pm, before focusing on the International Protection Bill 2015 at 2.45pm and finally the Health Insurance (Amendment) Bill 2015 at 5pm.

Inside Leinster House

Yesterday the Dáil passed a bill that will make it illegal for religious-run schools to discriminate against LGBT teachers over their sexuality.

Aodhán Ó Ríordáin, Minister of State for Equality, was very happy with the news.

What the others are saying

  • The Irish Examiner notes that time is running out for the coalition to deliver on a €1.5 billion spending commitment it made last month, after exchequer figures showed a large part of the money has yet to be spent this year.
  • According to the Irish Times, Sinn Féin’s US fundraising arm took in $60,280 (€57,000) in the six months to October, based on the party’s latest filing with the US Department of Justice.
  • The same paper reports that independent Senator Seán Barrett has called a bill to reform legal services is “a shambles”, noting Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald made 105 amendments to a single page.
  • The Irish Independent reports that members of Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin are split on whether the parties should consider a potential coalition. Yesterday, Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin again ruled it out.  

In case you missed it

Good day for…

Minister Michael Noonan and Brendan Howlin – Ireland reported a €343 million surplus for the end of November after tax returns were higher than expected.

Bad day for…

The members of the banking inquiry, as its work remains on the verge of collapse.

On the Twitter machine

Anti-Austerity Alliance TD Paul Murphy is among those to criticise the British vote giving the green light for air strikes on Islamic State in Syria.

Comments are closed due to ongoing court proceedings.

Originally published: 9am

About the author:

Órla Ryan

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