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State of the Nation

An election is around the corner, but will Enda be Taoiseach again?

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

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Everyone’s talking about…

The general election is now just weeks away, and all candidates are in full election mode.

11/1/2016 An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny TD is pictured Enda Kenny and Frances Fitzgerald at the launch of Fine Gael's digital advertising campaign yesterday. Mark Stedman Mark Stedman

The parties and independents have been hitting the pavements and starting to campaign in earnest.

Amid the never-ending dance of ‘Who will form a coalition with whom?’, plenty of barbs are being traded.

Yesterday, Enda Kenny said he has a date in mind for the election, but declined to divulge any further information.

The vote is anticipated to take place in late February, but The Irish Times today reports this date could be brought forward due to the growing prospect of a legal challenge to the banking inquiry.

Either way, the election is just around the corner and we’ll soon have a new coalition – whatever form that might take.



Tomorrow will be launching its candidate database – our comprehensive guide to every single candidate running for the 32nd Dáil.

The agenda

  • The Dáil and Seanad aren’t back until tomorrow.
  • Taoiseach Enda Kenny will hold a meeting with insurance companies this morning to discuss the provision of insurance for people affected by flooding.
  • The Independent Alliance will launch its Charter for Change at the Royal College of Physicians in Dublin at 11am.
  • Fianna Fáil is set to hold a briefing on its economic and tax framework for the coming years in Dublin at 11.30am.

What the others are saying

  • The Irish Independent reports that Shane Ross would “love to be in cabinet” but he says the Independent Alliance has not yet discussed how they would select ministers.
  • The Irish Times notes that the general election may take place earlier than the expected date of late February due to the growing prospect of a legal challenge to the banking inquiry.
  • The same paper reports that Joan Burton has committed to holding a referendum on the Eighth Amendment within 18 months if Labour is returned to power.

In case you missed it

  • The Taoiseach has a date in mind for the election, but he won’t tell us when just yet.
  • Enda Kenny said it’s unclear if a referendum to repeal the Eighth Amendment would pass if it was held now.
  • The Tánaiste said questions about the government’s failure to secure an EU deal on its legacy bank debt are “redundant” now that the country has left the bailout and the economy is growing.
  • Fianna Fáil criticised the government after it was revealed the coalition made €57 million more than expected in the first year a tax relief cap on private medical insurance was introduced.

Good day for…

Arlene Foster: She became Northern Ireland’s First Minister.

Bad day for…

Fianna Fáil councillor Paddy Kilduff: He refused to comment after remarks he made last year, where he described lesbian couples having babies as “gross”, were published yesterday.

On the Twitter machine…

John Halligan appreciated Waterford Whispers News’ post-Golden Globes effort.

Originally published 9am

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