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What should be done when politicians are caught dealing dirty?

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

Updated 12.00 pm

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Everyone’s talking about…

Councillor John O'Donnell - RTE Investigates - Standards in Public Office Donegal Councillor John O'Donnell denies any wrongdoing and says he was approached as a businessman. Source: RTÉ

That some politicians aren’t exactly paragons of virtue won’t exactly come as a shock to many. But the brazenness on show in last night’s RTÉ Investigates programme is something that will have shocked people.

After councillors were caught seeking money, directly or indirectly, for help in planning matters, many people will be asking the question, ‘what happens next?’.

Are there any consequences for people caught breaking the rules and how can we make sure that politicians are scared of doing so?

As well as the undercover-type investigations we saw last night, we also heard about widespread breaches of requirements among politicians to register their interests. It included five TDs and Senators who amended their list of interests after being contacted by the programme.

While perhaps not as serious, it also sparks questions about whether that should be the end of that or whether or not there should be some sort of penalty for these ‘oversights’.

Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams TD, meanwhile, has said that the public will be “deeply angered” by the programme

The government confirmed last night that new laws to cover these matters won’t be voted through before the Dáil is dissolved.

It’s not just been just a delay from this government though, tough regulations have been a long time coming.

One of the councillors who failed to register some of his interests has blamed it on a number of reasons.

Cllr. Tom McHugh of Tuam says his failure to declare a house was “an oversight” and that he didn’t declare land left to him by his parents because he didn’t know the transfer had gone through.

As for a €150,000 payment from Gayway County Council? He said he didn’t know he needed to declare it.

PastedImage-67765 Source: TheJournal.ie

The agenda

  • Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Minister Richard Bruton launch the government’s ‘Innovation 2020′ plan at the Convention Centre Dublin.
  • Arts Minister Heather Humphreys takes question on her department as the countdown to the 2016 commemorations continues. That’s at 2.00pm.
  • An Taoiseach will make his way back to the Dáil chamber for 3.15pm and will face opposition leaders.
  • A mental health bill that seeks to regulate the use of involuntary procedures will be debated this evening.
  • Ministers for Education, Agriculture and Health are before their relevant committees to discuss their budgets. That’s at 1.30pm, 2.00 pm and 4.00 pm respectively.
  • In the Seanad, the Social Welfare and Pensions Bill 2015 enters its final stages from 3.45pm.


Inside Leinster House 

TDs often get a bad rep for being buttoned-down lot, but a few decided to shed their usual clothes in favour of something fancier for televised charity fashion show.

The members went on TV3 aid of Motor Neurone Disease, which sadly took the life of Fine Gael TD Nicky McFadden in 2014..


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fashion Source: TV3

What the others are saying 

  • The Irish Times is reporting that the banking inquiry report will dismiss the suggestion that Anglo would have defaulted in the morning after 30 Spetmber 2008, had the bank guarantee not been agreed.
  • The Irish Independent reports on the continuing fallout from gender quotas and the addition of Aoife Byrne to the Fianna Fáil ticket in Wexford.
  • After refusing to sign-off on the banking inquiry, the Irish Examiner reports that Joe Higgins TD will publish his own alternative report.  

In case you missed it

7/12/2015 Jobs Announcements Source: Sasko Lazarov/RollingNews.ie

Good day for…

Minister for Jobs and Innovation Richard Bruton. The minister will today launch the government’s five-year innovation strategy and it follows another day of positive news when he welcomed an Indian multinational’s decision to open a new R&D centre in Ireland.

Bad day for… 

Politics. You could perhaps be specific and mention the elected representatives named in yesterday’s documentary, but the reality is that the actions of a few reflect very poorly on the attitude in politics in general.

On the Twitter machine 

Like was mentioned above, Pearse Doherty and Lucinda Creighton played out some shadow-boxing with their Twitter fingers yesterday.

About the author:

Rónán Duffy

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