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Dublin: 10 °C Tuesday 10 December, 2019
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Could we have a general election before the end of the year?

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

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Everyone’s talking about…

With the economy growing faster than anywhere else in Europe, unemployment falling, and support for the government steadily rising there’s a spring in the step of many government deputies around Leinster House.

No one wants to rock the boat. Even those who privately have concerns about issues like whether or not Enda Kenny sacked the Garda Commissioner are reluctant to air them publicly so soon out from an election. Indeed, talk that it could take place before the end of 2015 continues to circulate even if the Taoiseach and Tánaiste have repeatedly ruled out such a possibility.

Fine Gael Second Lisbon Treaty Campaigns Source: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

That was until yesterday, when Kenny stated during Leaders’ Questions that a general election would not be called “until it’s appropriate to do so”. This is a departure from the previously language which was repeatedly referencing “spring 2016″.

Perhaps we’re reading far too much into Kenny’s remarks. But if the polls continue their upward trajectory and the coalition can deliver more goodies in the Budget then it might just take a chance and go to the country before the year is out.

The agenda

  • 9.30am to 1pm-ish: The Health Committee has a busy day examining drug addiction and recovery models before continuing its scrutiny of the alcohol minimum pricing bill with vintners and off licence representatives before TDs and Senators. 
  • 9.30am – 4.30pm: The banking inquiry continues to examine the media’s role in the crisis with representatives from Independent Newspapers, the Irish Times (including Geraldine Kennedy) and RTÉ before the committee. 
  • 10am: The Public Accounts Committee has the Dublin Docklands Development Authority before it. 
  • 12pm: It’s Joan Burton’s turn to take Leaders’ Questions in the Dáil. 
  • 1.15pm: Debate on the Children and Family Relationships Bill continues in the Seanad today after some controversial remarks yesterday.
  • Also today, Taoiseach Enda Kenny, Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan and his junior minister Séan Sherlock are in Belfast for a meeting to examine the implementation of the troubled Stormont House Agreement. 

Inside Leinster House 

That chat about Pat Rabbitte taking over from George Hook on Newstalk is unlikely to go away after his scathing attack on RTÉ last night. It was a bad day for the national broadcaster in Leinster House having earlier got an earful from TDs on the Communications Committee.

What the others are saying

  • Fine Gael is preparing a raft of measures to help the self-employed and small business owners in the next Budget, the Irish Independent says.
  • The same paper also says that Mary Hanafin has been nominated for one of five positions as vice president of Fianna Fáil ahead of the party’s Ard Fheis in April. 
  • Charlie Haughey could be vindictive and many of his supports were thugs, according to John O’Leary, a former minister in his government, whose memoirs will be published this week, according to the Irish Times

In case you missed it

https://vine.co/v/O3etnYYrdgb

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On the Twitter machine

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About the author:

Hugh O'Connell

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