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Dublin: 11°C Friday 14 May 2021

Enda Kenny's visit to a gay bar shows how far the country has come

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

HERE IS THEJOURNAL.IE’s comprehensive guide to what’s happening in the political world this morning.

Everyone’s talking about

The Taoiseach stopping by a gay bar.

Enda Kenny attended Fine Gael’s LGBT Christmas party with Youth Minister James Reilly, TDs Jerry Buttimer and Marcella Corcoran Kennedy, and members of Young Fine Gael last night.

Buttimer, who is chair of the Oireachtas Health Committee, set up the party’s LGBT group in 2012. Pantibar is owned by Rory O’Neill, AKA drag artist Panti Bliss, a gay rights activist who was at the centre of the ‘Pantigate‘ controversy earlier this year.

With the Marriage Equality Referendum due to take place next Spring, Kenny’s casual visit shows how far we’ve come in a country that only decriminalised homosexuality in 1993.

The agenda

  • 9.30am: Finance Minister Michael Noonan will be answering questions related to his Department.
  • 11am: The Banking Inquiry will meet in private.
  • 11.45am: Jobs Minister Richard Bruton will discuss the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs in the Seanad.
  • Noon: The Taoiseach will answer Leaders’ Questions.
  • 2pm: The sale of loan books will be discussed by the Finance Committee in Room 4.
  • 7pm: A discussion on homelessness will round out the day in the Seanad, with Environment Minister Alan Kelly attending.

What the others are saying

  • The Rehab Group has withdrawn its €1.5 billion claim against the State for damages over the operation of the National Lottery, according to the Irish Times.
  • The same paper reports that the Public Accounts Committee will meet with the Revenue Commissioners tomorrow to discuss the tax evasion dossier submitted by a former civil servant.
  • The Irish Daily Mail states that Finance Minister Michael Noonan’s son joined the picket line outside the Limerick school he teaches in.
  • The Irish Independent reports that talks between secondary teachers and the Department of Education are expected to take place before Christmas, aimed at averting another strike day in January.
  • The same paper reports that the State has lodged a defence against a legal challenge to the ‘clock in’ expenses system for TDs and Senators, which sees them paid without providing any proof of spend.

In case you missed it

  • There was a moving vigil outside Leinster House last night following the death of Jonathan Corrie.
  • Environment Minister Alan Kelly will hold an emergency summit on housing after the homeless man’s death.
  • The amount of money paid to Irish Water by local authorities has been revealed.
  • A war of words is developing between Simon Coveney and Micheál Martin.
  • On a more random note, Kiss frontman Gene Simmons visited the Dáil yesterday – although we’re not quite sure why.

On the Twitter machine

Crumlin is getting into the Christmas spirit.

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About the author:

Órla Ryan

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