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Dublin: 4 °C Monday 24 February, 2020

State of the Nation: How will Ireland be affected if Scotland goes it alone?

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

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

Everyone’s talking about 

British Irish Council Summits Meetings Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond with Taoiseach Enda Kenny Source: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

Extraordinary as it may sound yesterday’s Cabinet meeting marked the first occasion in which Scottish independence was discussed by ministers and it was, by all accounts, a brief discussion. It’s not clear what, if any, plans the government here have put in place in the event of a Yes vote today.

The National Risk Assessment plan has just one line about Scottish independence, noting the outcome “could introduce an element of instability into Northern Ireland”. While most ministers are remaining firmly tight-lipped on their preference, one more-or-less told us they’d be in favour of Scotland remaining in the UK – a view that is privately echoed by many in government:

Source: Video

The agenda

  • Voting is under way in the Scottish independence referendum. Polls close at 10pm and first results are expected after midnight with the outcome likely to known by dawn tomorrow. 
  • 10am: The Public Accounts Committee is holding a private meeting where members are expected to be briefed on the case being taken against the PAC by Rehab’s Angela Kerins
  • 12pm: Joan Burton takes her first Leaders’ Questions of the new Dáil term. 

What the others are saying 

  • Former tánaiste Mary Harney claimed expenses for an iPhone on the day before the last Dáil was dissolved – effectively her second last day as a TD – the Irish Daily Mail reports on its frontpage. 
  • Today’s referendum in Scotland shows that the 1916 Rising was a mistake, John Bruton is quoted as saying in the Irish Times (page 2) 
  • The Irish Examiner says that acting garda commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan is facing a second grilling by the Public Accounts Committee over penalty points (page 1). 

Inside Leinster House

Whatever about Lucinda’s oft-mooted new party, there’ll definitely be a new TV channel on the air by the new year… UTV Ireland’s new news anchor, Alison Comyn, called in for a coffee and a chat with TDs yesterday.


Our most popular story yesterday was… 

Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan breathing a sigh of relief.

ming sniffer

Finally, on the Twitter machine 

What a present!

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About the author:

Hugh O'Connell

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