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Dublin: 10 °C Friday 3 April, 2020

State of the Nation: The Omnishambles that just won't go away

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

EACH WEEKDAY MORNING, brings you a comprehensive guide to what’s happening in the political world.

Everyone’s talking about…

The remarkable staying power of The John McNulty Affair (we’re going to start describing it as an ‘omnishambles‘ — but we’re happy to switch to a stronger term, should one become available).

Fine Gael, of course, had hoped to draw a line under the issue earlier this week, but there are further twists in the tale emerging this morning…

Photo: Fine Gael

As a result of the rumbling controversy, McNulty had asked TDs and senators, who make up the electorate, NOT to vote for him.

But it turned out many in Fine Gael had already had cast their ballots in his favour by the time he made that announcement, on Tuesday afternoon.

It’s now emerged, according to RTÉ, that that those ballots were retained by officials so the party could examine whether it was possible for members to vote again for another candidate.

Meanwhile, Today FM News reports that a source close to the withdrawn nominee said that he has been flooded with calls from colleagues asking him to re-enter the race — and that, if elected, he would consider taking the seat.

The agenda… 

We’ve a Friday sitting in the Dáil to deal with the Garda Bill, which is aimed at granting extra powers to GSOC (10am).

Ongoing political problems at Stormont will be on the agenda as the North South Ministerial Council meets in Dublin Castle.

Source: PA Wire/Press Association Images ... Heather Humphreys at an event earlier this summer.

What the others are saying…

Another unwelcome headline for Heather Humphreys, the embattled Arts Minister, in the Irish Independent this morning. It’s emerged she appointed a second FG member to the board of IMMA, as well as John McNulty.

‘Cool your jets,’ Brendan Howlin has told his ministerial colleagues… Alright, he probably didn’t actually use that term — but the public expenditure minister is telling his fellow Cabinet members to rein in their Budget spending demands, The Irish Times reports.

On the international front, the BBC reports that pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong have accepted an offer of talks from the Government.

In case you missed it…

The much-trumpeted challenge from Matt Carthy and Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan fell flat in Brussels yesterday, as Phil Hogan (above) put in an assured performance in his EU Commission confirmation hearing.

Experts appointed by the HSE have concluded that it’s not possible to identify medical conditions to be considered when determining if someone is eligible for a medical card.

And whistleblower Maurice McCabe told TDs that his treatment, as a result of speaking out, “destroyed me, my career and my family” according to a PAC report.

On the Twitter machine… 

Ming’s moving on.

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