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State of the Nation

Did Enda Kenny sack the Garda Commissioner?

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

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Everyone’s talking about… 

Just what exactly happened on the night before Martin Callinan resigned as Garda Commissioner last year? We know that a senior civil servant visited Callinan’s home on the instructions of the Taoiseach. But what was said? And why did the commissioenr feel the need to resign the following day?

Jobs Announcements Creations Sasko Lazarov / Photocall Ireland Sasko Lazarov / Photocall Ireland / Photocall Ireland

The conclusion of the Ian Bailey case clears the way for the commission examining the circumstances surrounding the departure to complete its work. The commission, headed by retired Supreme Court judge Nial Fennelly, has recalled a number of witnesses with the Taoiseach reportedly among them.

The reluctance of Kenny to confirm if this is the case only adds to the mystery surrounding the events and has raised questions as to whether he effectively sacked Callinan. Doing this without putting it to cabinet would be in breach of legislation and create a big problem for Kenny.

Northern Ireland Security Issues Sasko Lazarov / Photocall Ireland Sasko Lazarov / Photocall Ireland / Photocall Ireland

With the Bailey case concluded the Fennelly Commission will begin distributing its draft report to affected parties and after that could be in a position to publish it. Its findings will be crucial to Kenny’s own future and that of his government.

The agenda

  • 10.30am: The cabinet holds its usual weekly meeting at Government Buildings 
  • 11am: Renua is launching its Carlow-Kilkenny by-election campaign with former Fianna Fáil councillor Patrick McKee set to be its candidate.


  • 1.15pm: The start of the general election? Fine Gael launches its ‘Standing up for Small Business’ campaign in Dublin city centre. The Taoiseach and backbench TDs Aine Collins, Tom Barry and Liam Twomey will be there. 
  • 1.30pm: The Jobs Committee is taking submissions on women entrepreneurship and women in the tech industry 
  • 3.15pm: Enda Kenny takes Leaders’ Questions in the Dáil
  • 5pm: The banking inquiry meets in private session at Leinster House. 
  • 6pm: The government launches its 2016 commemorative programme. Enda Kenny, Joan Burton, Heather Humphreys and Aodhán Ó Ríordáin will be among those at the Collins Barracks. 
  • 7.30pm:Fianna Fáil’s private members’ business concerns what it says are unfair standard variable mortgage interest rates. 

Inside Leinster House 

After days of debate the Children and Family Relationships Bill passed the Seanad last night after senators dealt with over a hundred amendments to the bill. Senators Ronan Mullen (independent) and Jim Walsh, who resigned the Fianna Fáil whip last week, were the only members to oppose the law which extends guardianship, custody and adoption rights to same-sex couples as well as other different family situations.

What the others are saying 

  • The Irish Independent says that the obstetrician in charge of the care of Savita Halappanavar will not face a disciplinary inquiry. 
  • One of the Big Tobacco firms which threatened legal action against the government has initiated High Court proceedings, according to the Irish Times and Irish Independent.
  • The Irish Examiner says that Garda whistleblower Maurice McCabe has been promoted.

In case you missed it 

On the Twitter machine… 

The strangest thing about this tweet is that it was RTed by Renua’s deputy leader

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