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Dublin: 5°C Friday 21 January 2022

It's not okay to petrol bomb a politician's office, or call them a 'midget parasite'

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

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Everybody’s talking about… 

The debate over the intimidation and abuse of politicians is sure to re-emerge in the wake of the petrol bombing of Michelle Mulherin’s constituency office in Mayo last night. A video has also emerged of protesters verbally abusing the President in Finglas last week.

President Higgins Official Visit to Ethiopia, Malawi and South Africa Source: Chris Bellew/Fennell Photography

The targeting of President is a new departure and comes in the wake of his decision to sign the Water Services Bill into law last month. Those opposed to it had argued he could have stopped the bill’s passage, but this displays and ignorance of the actual constitutional position. Furthermore, protest and the verbal abuse does their cause no good at all.

Yet we are seeing an increasing number of such incidents, most famously the Jobstown protest against Tánaiste Joan Burton last November. How long before someone gets hurt?

The agenda 

  • 9.30am: The banking inquiry hears from Professor Ed Kane of Boston College on banking regulation. 
  • 9.30am: The Oireachtas communications committee meets with the chairperson designate of RTÉ, Moya Doherty.  
  • 12pm: Enda Kenny is up in the Dáil for the usual Leaders’ Questions. 
  • The Dáil is due to vote through a motions to set up commissions of investigation into the matters arising out of the Guerin report and mother and baby homes this afternoon. The Ceann Comhairle has cancelled debate on the Guerin report commission due to the court case being taken by Alan Shatter against the report’s findings. 
  • 7pm: Fianna Fáil’s private members’ motion on mortgages becomes all the more topical given the new Central Bank rules on lending. 
  • The Fine Gael and Labour parliamentary parties hold their respective meetings this evening in Leinster House where the proposed Aer Lingus sale is expected to dominate. 
  • The Seanad is also in session today. A full Oireachtas schedule is here 

Inside Leinster House

You will all be delighted to know that we’ve found out the real story behind this bizarre tweet from Fianna Fail’s Timmy Dooley:

timmy d

The Clare TD told us: ”I was trying to change my password on Twitter, they texted me a string of letters, saying ‘enter the following’. So I replied ‘enter it where?’ and it appears direct on Twitter. A mighty service, but I’ve still no response!”

Poor Timmy.

What the others are saying 

  • Several papers report that Michelle Mulherin has paid back €2,000 for phone calls she made to Kenya from her Leinster House office. 
  • The Irish Independent says that Sinead O’Connor has abandoned plans to join Sinn Féin. 
  • The Mahon Tribunal has said that not all of the corruption findings against Ray Burke are being withdrawn and neither are any of the fingings in the report which deals with former taoiseach Bertie Ahern, according to the Irish Times

In case you missed it 

On the tweet machine 

The Sinn Féin leader appears to find his work in the Dáil a bit boring:

About the author:

Hugh O'Connell

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