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Dublin: 6°C Tuesday 1 December 2020

Will Anne Ferris be allowed to rejoin Labour?

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

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Everybody’s talking about…

Anne Ferris is well-respected and much-admired within the Labour party and no one is particularly happy that she’s been expelled from its parliamentary ranks (she is still a member of the party) after last night’s Dáil vote on Clare Daly’s abortion bill.

28 Anne Ferris Against Bill Source: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland

The Wicklow TD is the party’s only elected representative in the county after they lost all their councillors last May. ”Anne is Labour in Wicklow,” said one source close to her last night. So it’s fair to say there will be a lot of clamour to bring her back into the fold in the near future.

When that happens is not yet clear although Ferris is likely to apply to rejoin the parliamentary party soon. Labour Youth is saying she should not be punished. Joan Burton said last night it is something the party will address “in the next few days”.

One thing appears clear, this is not like Colm Keaveney’s or Róisín Shortall’s acrimonious departures three years ago and it will be a surprise if Ferris is not Labour’s candidate at the next general election.

The agenda 

  • Eurozone finance ministers are meeting in Brussels today as the Greek crisis rumbles on. Michael Noonan isn’t optimistic.
  • 9.30am: The banking inquiry is hearing from the ESRI’s John FitzGerald. 
  • 9.30am: The Transport Committee meets privately this morning ahead of an engagement with IAG chief Willie Walsh over the Aer Lingus bid tomorrow.
  • 9.30am: Another week, another Action Plan for Jobs press conference. The Taoiseach, Tánaiste and Richard Bruton are at Croke Park to launch the regional element of the plan. 
  • 11.30am: Paschal Donohoe and Charlie Flanagan are launcing the Global Greening iniative (where loads of monuments and buildings worldwide go green for Paddy’s Day) in central Dublin. 
  • Noon: It’s Enda Kenny’s turn to take Leaders’ Questions on the Dáil again 
  • 1pm: Sinn Féin is holding a rally in solidarity with Greece outside Leinster House.
  • Between 2.39pm and 7.30pm: The Dáil will begin debating the new Climate Change Bill (officially the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Bill 2015). Green Party Eamon Ryan was fiercely critical of it earlier this week.

Source: Video TheJournal.ie/YouTube

  • This evening: The Fine Gael parliamentary party will hold its weekly meeting in Leinster House. 

Inside Leinster House 

Simon Harris was the toast of Leinster House yesterday after his performance on Claire Byrne Live on Monday. In scenes not entirely unlike The Wolf of Wall Street, just about everyone on the government benches was keen to offer their congratulations to the young minister for putting Eamon Dunphy in his place as they passed him in the corridors.

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What the others are saying 

  • Joan Burton told Labour TDs and Senators that there could be no further action on abortion because of an agreement with Fine Gael, the Irish Times reports. 
  • The Public Accounts Committee is seeking more information from Revenue about its investigation into the HSBC tax dodging scandal, according to the Irish Independent.

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About the author:

Hugh O'Connell

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