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State of the Nation

Who's going to investigate the tax evasion claims now?

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

HERE IS THEJOURNAL.IE’s comprehensive guide to what’s happening in the political world this morning.

Everyone’s talking about

Mary Lou McDonald naming former senior politicians against whom tax evasion claims have been made.

Political reactions to Callinans resignation Laura Hutton / Photocall Ireland Laura Hutton / Photocall Ireland / Photocall Ireland

Using her parliamentary privilege, Sinn Féin’s deputy leader read into the Dáil record the names of six former politicians referred to in a dossier compiled by whistleblower and civil servant Gerry Ryan.

Shortly after their names were made public, several former TDs and Ministers strenuously denied any wrongdoing.

A number of McDonald’s colleagues on the Public Accounts Committee have criticised her decision to name the individuals in question.

Speaking on Morning Ireland, PAC Chair John McGuinness said McDonald made a “judgment call” on the issue, but he would not have done the same thing as it may damage the investigation process and discourage other whistleblowers from coming forward.

“Each member of the Dáil has their own style of politics,” McGuinness said of McDonald.

“People deserve the right to defend themselves. Individuals need to be made aware of what is in the documents – they deserve that much,” he added.

PAC will meet with outgoing Chair of the Revenue Commission Josephine Feehily and other representatives from the organisation this morning to discuss how to move forward on the issue. The committee has previously been told investigating the claims would be beyond its remit. Yesterday, the Taoiseach told McDonald the Garda Fraud Unit is investigating the allegations.

The agenda

  • 9.30am: The Banking Inquiry will meet in private.
  • 9.30am: Transport Minister Paschal Donohoe will be answering questions related to his department.
  • 10am: The Public Accounts Committee will meet with representatives from the Revenue Commission to discuss tax evasion claims, as outlined above.
  • 10.45am: The Water Services Bill will be debated in the Dáil.
  • Noon: Tánaiste Joan Burton will be answering Leaders’ Questions.
  • 2pm: The Fiscal Advisory Council will appear before the Finance Committee.
  • 3-8pm: The emergency summit on homelessness, which will be chaired by Environment Minister Alan Kelly and attended by various NGOs and the four Dublin local authority chief executives, will take place in Custom House.

What the others are saying

  • Junior bondholders at AIB may receive a payout of €280 million – just as water bills arrive next Spring, according to the Irish Examiner.
  • The latest Irish Times MRBI poll found just 16% of people would vote for Fine Gael if an election was held to tomorrow, while 25% would vote for Independents and others (once undecided voters are excluded).
  • The same paper reports that Tánaiste Joan Burton wants to see a ban on bedsits in Dublin reversed in the wake of the housing crisis.
  • Several papers cover the fact that former Taoiseach Liam Cosgrave is donating papers belonging to his late father WT Cosgrave to the Royal Irish Academy. 

In case you missed it

  • Jobs Minister Richard Bruton isn’t worried about the possibility of Northern Ireland reducing its corporate tax rate. 
  • Social Protection Minister Joan Burton wants to increase the Christmas Bonus again in 2015. 
  • Fianna Fáil is to begin selecting general election candidates next week.
  • Dairy farmers say rural Ireland will be plunged into turmoil if Phil Hogan doesn’t help them.
  • The Department of Transport announced that €60 million will be spent improving local roads over the next three years.  
  • Gene Simmons from Kiss revealed he’s good friends with Fine Gael TD Pat Breen.

On the Twitter machine

Christmas has arrived in Leinster House…

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