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Dáil talk

State of the Nation: Yet another Irish Water controversy for Fine Gael...

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

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

Everyone’s talking about… 

The Government’s been hit with another Irish Water scandal.

The Irish Times leads this morning with a story concerning the Minister of State at the Department of the Environment’s hiring of a director of the semi-state company as his personal driver.

Hilary Quinlan was appointed to the board of Irish Water in November of last year while he was still a serving Fine Gael councillor, the paper’s Fiach Kelly reports. The appointment was approved by then-Environment Minister Phil Hogan.

PA Archive / Press Association Images ... Phil Hogan and Paudie Coffey (2010) PA Archive / Press Association Images ... Phil Hogan and Paudie Coffey (2010) / Press Association Images ... Phil Hogan and Paudie Coffey (2010)

Quinlan went on to lose his seat in May’s local elections. He has since been hired by junior minister Paudie Coffey as one of his ministerial drivers — a job that pays €665 a week.

The controversy coincides with the release this morning of details of the charging scheme for domestic water users. The contentious charges kick in from tomorrow.

The agenda…

  • The Dáil is back this afternoon — starting with an hour of questions for Health Minister Leo Varadkar at 2pm. 
  • Expect the John McNulty affair to raise its head again, as the Taoiseach takes questions from 3.15pm. 
  • This evening, the chamber debates a Technical Group Private Members motion calling on the Government to abolish the Direct Provision system (7.30pm).
  • In the committee rooms, the Vintners Federation of Ireland and the Hardware Association of Ireland will be submitting their ideas for job creation in rural areas (1.30pm).
  • And the new US Ambassador to Ireland will be sworn-in, at a ceremony in Washington later. 

(Click here for a full schedule of what’s happening in the Oireachtas.)

Brian Lawless Brian Lawless

What the others are saying… 

  • Three Irish Water staff members are still receiving pensions from their previous jobs with local authorites, according to this morning’s Irish Independent. 
  • David Cameron has criticised Ireland’s tax regime for multinational companies, RTÉ News reports.  The British Prime Minister also welcomed measures to curb schemes like the so-called “double Irish”.
  • According to The Irish Times, the European Commission is putting renewed pressure on the Government to press ahead with €2 billion in cuts in next month’s Budget, as initially planned. 

Chat from the campaign trail in Roscommon-South Leitrim… 

The three by-election candidates TheJournal.ie spent time with in Roscommon yesterday were all feeling remarkably relaxed about last night’s Prime Times debate. One activist involved in the race was pleased that the national broadcaster had done away with the ‘two speed’ format it used during the European elections. “Then again,” he said. “Sure it’s a by-election in Roscommon-South Leitrim… RTÉ probably just want to get it over with as soon as possible”.

In case you missed it… 

On the Twitter machine… 

It was a bound to happen, wasn’t it?

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