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Who's going to lead the Independent Alliance... and can it survive?

Here’s everything you need to know about what’s happening in Irish politics right now…
Jan 15th 2015, 9:00 AM 6,140 34

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Everybody’s talking about… 

The Independent Alliance, Alliance of Independents or whatever you’re having yourself ran into its first difficulties yesterday as Stephen Donnelly decided he didn’t want to be involved. Shane Ross said the Wicklow TD didn’t want to be part of something “completely and utterly new in Irish politics”.

Judicial Appointments Press Conferences The Three Wise Men: Mattie McGrath, Shane Ross and Finian McGrath Source: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland

In his statement, Donnelly essentially said he wanted to be part of something a bit more cohesive and therein lies the Independent Alliance’s problem. Just what does it stand for when it includes people on the right, like Ross, and people on the left, like Michael Fitzmaurice and Finian McGrath?

And who exactly will lead this alliance? In an interview on this morning, Fitzmaurice suggests that “there doesn’t have to be” one, which doesn’t seem at all practical when it comes to negotiating for power or the implementation of policies.

Source: Video

The bottom line is there are still lots of questions about how this is all going to work and while they remain unanswered there will be huge doubts about whether it can actually work at all.

The agenda 

  • 9.30am: Central Bank governor Patrick Honohan is before the banking inquiry to discuss his report into the crash. 
  • 11.30am: Fianna Fáil is launching the Markievicz Commission report on gender politics and the role of women in politics. 
  • 12pm: Joan Burton and Mary Lou McDonald are up for Leaders’ Questions. 
  • 5.30pm: After a short week, the Dáil adjourns.

Inside Leinster House… 

Just where will Stephen Donnelly hang his hat after deciding not to throw his lot in with the Independent Alliance? The independent TD is keeping his options open but is ruling out either of the government parties, Sinn Féin, and Lucinda Creighton’s new party. There are suggestions he could form his own movement, but the speculation about him joining up with Fianna Fáil will just not go away.

What the others are saying 

  • The government is preparing to set out a five-year plan for tax reform as part of the spring statement, the Irish Times reports. 
  • The European Central Bank is reconsidering its refusal to participate in the banking inquiry, according to the Irish Independent
  • Environment Minister Alan Kelly will be Labour’s director of elections, according to the Irish Daily Mail. 

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Source: Video

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