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State of the Nation: Is Maurice McCabe ruining Frances Fitzgerald's honeymoon?

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… 

Frances Fitzgerald has made a good start as Minister for Justice, it has been widely acknowledged. But whistleblower Maurice McCabe, who has done much to expose the justice controversies, is raising more concerns about the administration of the penalty points system which threaten to undermines changes introduced last June.

Under Pressure. The Minister for Justic Frances Fitzgerald fielding questions on the latest garda controversy yesterday Source: Eamonn Farrell/Photocall Ireland

The steps taken by gardaí to listen to McCabe are positive but this latest controversy underlines the extent to which there are still a lot of changes needed to the way law enforcement operates in this country. As sources close to the whistleblower told our reporter Michelle Hennessy, McCabe still feels “he is not accepted in the force”.

The agenda… 

  • The Labour and Fianna Fáil parliamentary party think-ins conclude in Wexford and Roscommon respectively later today. 
  • Final campaigning is taking place in the Scottish independence referendum as party leaders make ‘The Vow’.
  • Oireachtas Committees return today. The Jobs Committee has Minister Richard Bruton in at 1.30pm to discuss his department’s budget. [Watch here
  • Meanwhile the Agriculture Committee discusses the Horse Racing Ireland Bill with a number of racing bodies from 2pm [Watch here

What the others are saying… 

  • The Irish Independent and Irish Times both flag tax cuts on the cards in next month’s Budget. In the Indo, Fionnan Sheahan sums up what’s likely to happen: “The more a worker earns, the less their tax cut will be worth.” 
  • All the papers report Joan Burton saying at the Labour think-in that a deal on Ireand’s legacy bank debt may not come to pass. “There is more than one way to skin the cat,” the Tánaiste is quoted as saying. 
  • The Mail (Page 4) reports that Leo Varadkar has again defied Enda Kenny by telling hospital bosses he will “back them” in Budget negotiations. 

Inside the Fianna Fáil think-in… 

From Roscommon, our reporter Daragh Brophy sends this:

There was general bemusement at the level of media attention given to Ned O’Sullivan’s stance on seagulls. Meanwhile, ahead of his Morning Ireland interview, Micheál Martin wasn’t taking any chances, heading for bed well before midnight last night to avoid any ‘Garglegate’ scenario. That said, there was some singing at the think-in but as a senior party figure was quick to point out, the first voice to pipe up was not a politician’s.

ICYMI…

Our most popular story yesterday was… 

jb ga

Joan Burton having a pop at Sinn Féin.

Finally, on the Twitter machine…

Gerry Adams and his ducks, the story that keeps on giving

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About the author:

Hugh O'Connell

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