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Friday 24 March 2023 Dublin: 9°C
# State of the Nation
TDs are back from their Christmas break - and they've got one thing on their minds
Here’s everything you need to know about what’s happening in Irish politics right now…

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Everyone’s talking about…

TDs and Senators return to Leinster House today after their Christmas break. Most have spent recent weeks campaigning in their constituencies ahead of the the upcoming general election.

11/1/2016. Governments Progress Reports Sam Boal / Enda Kenny and Joan Burton Sam Boal / /

There’s not a huge amount on the agenda today.

Government chief whip Paul Kehoe told Morning Ireland the Dáil will focus on the severe flooding that has been “ravaging our country over the last number of weeks”.

Kehoe said Enda Kenny will inform the cabinet about what happened at yesterday’s meeting with insurance companies, and he’s confident a solution will be found for homes and businesses struggling to get flood insurance.

He noted that “quite a number of bills” are scheduled to go through the Dáil next week.

As for the question on everyone’s lips, Kehoe said he’s not sure when the election will be. At present, it’s looking like late February.

Tánaiste Joan Burton has told journalists they should be ready for the election “anytime” after the Labour party conference, which takes place on 30 January.

Meanwhile, the Taoiseach said he has a date in mind but won’t tell us just yet. Either way, the election is just around the corner and campaigning is about to reach fever pitch.



Today is launching its candidate database – our comprehensive guide to every single candidate running for the 32nd Dáil. You can view it here.

The agenda

  • The Cabinet will meet today. 
  • The Taoiseach, Tánaiste, and Education Minister Jan O’Sullivan will launch Pathways to Work 2016–2020 in Dublin at 12.45pm.
  • The social protection committee will discuss the Humanitarian Assistance Scheme in relation to household flooding at 1pm.
  • Tánaiste Joan Burton will answer questions about social protection in the Dáil at 2.30pm.
  • The Oireachtas public petitions committee will meet at 4.30pm to discuss a number of requests, including one to have Conor McGregor’s face feature on the €1 coin.
  • Leaders’ Questions will take place at 4.33pm.
  • Representatives from the Department of Jobs will discuss Innovation 2020 in the Seanad at 4.45pm.
  • Statements on the recent severe flooding will take place from 5.20pm until 11pm.
  • Private Members Business in the Seanad at 6.15pm will focus on a Fianna Fáil motion that claims: “Irish Water has been a complete failure by the government.”

What the others are saying

  • The Irish Independent reports that the Taoiseach has written to the leaders of the main opposition parties outlining his plan to get the commission of investigation into IBRC transactions back on track.
  • Enda Kenny has said Northern Ireland’s new First Minister Arlene Foster should speak about her views on the 1916 Rising even if she does not want to partake in any official commemoration events, according to the Irish Times.
  • The Irish Examiner reports that abuse victim Louise O’Keeffe, who defeated the State in the European Court, has accused Education Minister Jan O’Sullivan of failing to properly deal with children abused by State employees.

In case you missed it

  • US President Barack Obama delivered his last State of the Union address.
  • Fianna Fáil unveiled its plans to reform USC if the party is returned to power.
  • The party also called for 16-year-olds to be given the right to vote in the local elections on a trial basis.
  • A Labour councillor in Carlow has said locals in the area should be housed before any consideration is given to asylum seekers.

Good day for…

Shane Ross: The Dublin South TD was the primary spokesperson at the launch of the Independent Alliance’s charter. The group will make decisions by consensus but to date Ross has come to the fore as the leader of the pack.

Bad day for…

John Kerry: He’s facing strong criticism from Iran after ten American soldiers entered the country’s waters.

On the Twitter machine…

Derek Nolan spotted himself on the back of a bus in Galway.

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