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State of the Nation: Noonan to the rescue

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…

Fine Gael’s attempts to draw a line under The John McNulty Affair. The parliamentary party met for almost four hours last evening — with Michael Noonan making, by all accounts, the speech of the night. ‘It’s the economy, stupid’ was, essentially, the Finance Minister’s theme — the veteran Limerick TD implored his colleagues to refocus on on next week’s Budget and move on from recent events.

It’s understood that John Deasy and Sean Conlan, two TDs who have been heavily critical of the party in recent days, were critical of how the situation was handled. Senator Hildegarde Naughten was also said to have been critical.

Source: PA Archive/Press Association Images

The agenda…

  • The likes of Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan and Sinn Féin’s Matt Carthy will have a chance to grill Ireland’s EU Commissioner-Designate Phil Hogan this morning. The Fine Gael heavyweight faces the European Parliament agriculture committee from 8am. 
  • The Dáil gets under way at 9.30am, with Michael Noonan taking questions on Finance for around an hour. Leaders’ Questions is at midday. 
  • In the committee rooms of Leinster House, the Health and Children panel will address the issue of ‘concussion in sport’ with medical experts (also at 9.30).
  • The Public Accounts Committee also meets this morning, at 10am.

What the others are saying…

  • The Irish Times reports that a growing number of Fine Gael and Labour senators intend to vote for John McNulty, in spite of the Donegal businessman asking them not to do so. McNulty’s name remains on the ballot paper for the Seanad by-election. 
  • A major speech by Gerry Adams, delivered in 2002, was written in part by a British diplomat, the Irish Independent reports. The revelation comes from a new book by the diplomat in question — former Blair advisor Jonathan Powell. 
  • Also in the Indo, it’s claimed then-Environment Minister Phil Hogan personally sent constituents’ CVs to Irish Water chief John Tierney. 
  • On the international front, China has issued a warning against “illegal” protests in Hong Kong, as mass pro-democracy demonstrations continue, the BBC reports.
  • And all the UK papers are mulling over David Cameron’s speech to his party conference yesterday. The Telegraph reports that nearly a million middle class Britons will be taken out of the 40p tax band if the Tories win the next election.

Source: Stefan Rousseau

In case you missed it…

Finally, on the Twitter machine…

Someone in Fianna Fáil’s been getting creative with the old Photoshop…

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