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Dáil talk

State of the Nation: This McNulty scandal is really building up a head of steam...

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… 

The row over John McNulty’s nomination to a State board, just days before he was announced as Fine Gael’s nominee for Deirdre Clune’s vacant Seanad seat.

The issue dominated the parliamentary party meetings of the two coalition partners yesterday, with several FG members expressing anger at how the party handled the affair.

Speaking in the US last evening, Taoiseach Enda Kenny insisted it was “the right of the leader of the day to decide who should be nominated”.

The scandal may not be going away anytime soon — but, that said, it’s unlikely to bring down the Government…


Elsewhere this morning, it’s emerged Ireland’s EU Commissioner-Designate Phil Hogan sent legal letters to Independent MEP Nessa Childers over claims she made in an open letter earlier this month.

It is understood Childers received three letters from Hogan’s legal team asking her to withdraw her statements. She’s made a complaint about the action to the EU Parliament’s legal affairs committee.

Niall Carson ... Phil Hogan Niall Carson ... Phil Hogan

The agenda

  • Dr James Reilly gets proceedings under way in the Dáil at 9.30am, taking questions on his Children and Youth Affairs brief. 
  • The Public Accounts Committee meets at 10am to discuss, amongst other issues, the draft report on the penalty points affair. 
  • And the National Ploughing Championships comes to a close in Co Laois today. Taoiseach Enda Kenny will be amongst the visitors on day three. 

Leon Farrell / Photocall Ireland Leon Farrell / Photocall Ireland / Photocall Ireland

Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney at ‘the Ploughing’ yesterday.

What the others are saying… 

  • The PAC’s draft report on penalty points is strongly critical of former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan, the Irish Times reports this morning. The committee also calls for greater protections for whistleblowers. 
  • Maire Geoghegan-Quinn, Ireland’s outgoing EU Commissioner, has been awarded the Legion d’Honneur by the French Government, according to the Irish Independent. It’s for her “remarkable contribution” to the European project.
  • A majority of farmers are now in favour of same-sex marriage, according to a survey carried on the front page of today’s Examiner. A referendum on the issue is set to be held next year. 
  • David Cameron is to apologise to the Queen, after he was overheard saying the monarch ‘purred’ upon hearing the result of the Scottish referendum, the BBC reports. 
  • And Alan Shatter is set to appear on the Late Late Show tomorrow, according to The Sun. 

In case you missed it… 

  • The Banking Inquiry will be examining the role the media played in the build-up to the collapse of the Irish banking system six years ago. 
  • Ireland could save €2.1 billion repaying its debts early, it’s emerged — delivering a big cash windfall for the Government. 
  • A councillor in Dublin, Jonathan Dowdall, has resigned from Sinn Féin . It’s after a “small element” in the party spread negative rumours about him, he said. 
  • They didn’t want her to join, but two members of the Technical Group in the Dáil held an ‘amicable’ meeting with former Fine Gael minister Lucinda Creighton yesterday.

From the halls of Leinster House… 

There was a great turnout for the launch of Sunday Independent Political Editor John Drennan’s new book Paddy Machievelli on Tuesday night. Pat Rabbitte gave an entertaining speech at the event in Doheny & Nesbitt’s — which was attended by everyone from Frances Fitzgerald to Joan Burton who, we’re told, left just before Rabbitte arrived. Purely coincidence we’re sure.

On the Twitter machine…

Nessa Childers isn’t expected to say anything about those Phil Hogan legal threats until later today.

She’s been tweeting on some other issues though…

Nice to know we have a fan in Brussels.

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