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State of the Nation: How will Enda weather the Fine Gael Seanad controversy?

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

EACH WEEKDAY MORNING, TheJournal.ie brings you a comprehensive guide to what’s happening in the political world.

Everyone’s talking about… 

The row over Fine Gael’s appointment of John McNulty (below), a failed local election candidate, to a State board days before he was nominated as the party’s candidate for the Seanad by-election.

Image: Fine Gael via Flickr

As our Political Editor points out in his analysis of the situation, the move once again raises questions about how the Government handles State board appointments.

It doesn’t do much to help Fine Gael’s gender balance credentials either, as a seat vacated by a woman (Deirdre Clune) is set to go to a man.

Fianna Fáil’s Thomas Byrne described it in the Seanad last night as an “electoral ploy”

The agenda

  • We’re under way in the Dáil at 9.30 this morning. Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald will be fielding questions on issues of concern to her Department (and there’s no shortage of them at the moment).
  • Staying within Leinster House, we’ve Leader’s Questions as normal at midday — and this afternoon, workers with GOAL and Médecins Sans Frontière will be updating Foreign Affairs committee members on the Ebola crisis in West Africa.
  • Elsewhere, it’s day 2 of the National Ploughing Championships — once again, plenty of TDs and senators are expected to make the trip to Co Laois. Joan Burton will be amongst the visitors this afternoon. 

Source: PA Wire/Press Association Images ... Frances Fitzgerald

What the others are saying…

  • The Irish Independent leads with the Seanad seat controversy. The Fine Gael move is being labelled “the greatest cynical stroke in politics in recent years” according to the paper. 
  • Speaking in New York, Enda Kenny rejected Monday’s advice from the Irish Fiscal Advisory Council that the Government should announce another tough Budget next month, The Irish Times reports.  The Taoiseach said, however, that the Council’s views were “always valued”.
  • The Irish Examiner reveals that Cork County Council has employed 121 interns via the JobBridge scheme. 
  • And across the water, Labour leader Ed Milliband has admitted missing out a passage on the UK’s financial deficit in his party conference speech. [BBC]

In case you missed it…

  • There’s been more Budget advice for the Government this morning… The Nevin institute is warning against the introduction of tax cuts, and says the coalition should bring in an adjustment of €800 million. 
  • Sinn Féin has called for the Government to invest €1 billion to tackle the housing crisis.
  • Eamon O’Cuiv said the presence of a member of Britain’s royal family in Dublin for the 1916 centenary would be “seriously distracting”. 
  • And Michael Noonan had them rolling in the aisles in the Dáil yesterday with this funny, funny joke. (Try the veal, he’s here all week – etc. etc.)

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Political chat from ‘the Ploughing’… 

TheJournal.ie spent the day in Co Laois yesterday. Interestingly — while the folks at the Fianna Fáil tent had plenty of pens, keyrings and other bits and pieces to give away, a volunteer over at Fine Gael said they no longer bothered with such nick-nacks. They did in previous years, apparently — but found that people just showed up whenever there were freebies on offer and didn’t stick around to talk (-fickle!).

On the Twitter machine…

The Agriculture Minister’s had an early start…

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About the author:

Daragh Brophy

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