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Dublin: 17 °C Thursday 22 August, 2019
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State of the Nation: Sacked minister's blistering parting shot over "failed" Irish Water

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…

Fergus O’Dowd’s remarkable attack on the Government over the set-up of Irish Water.

The Fine Gael TD, who was effectively sacked as a junior minister in the Department of the Environment during the summer reshuffle, contends the establishment of the semi-state company has been an “unmitigated disaster”.

O’Dowd, who developed the legislation to set up the body, writes in this morning’s Irish Independent that there has been a “major communications failure” at Irish Water.

According to the Louth TD:

Almost all of the advertising being done by the utility company is focused on demands, duties and deadlines rather than on positive changes water metering can bring. It is almost as if there is a conspiracy to make it as bureaucratic and nonsensical as possible.

He also laid in to the fact that bonuses were paid at the semi-state last year, saying it needed to show solidarity with customers and “strangle its bonus culture at birth”.

Source: PA Archive/Press Association Images ... Fergus O'Dowd

The agenda… 

  • The Dáil gets under way for the week at 2pm, with Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan taking questions for an hour. 
  • Leader’s Questions is at 3.15pm, and Enda Kenny will be staying on his feet to take Taoiseach’s Questions until around 4.30. 
  • In the committee rooms, officials from the Department of Finance will give their macro-economic forecast, in the context of Budget 2015 (3pm, Committee Room 4)… [Popcorn at the ready, right?]

What the others are saying…

  • The Indo’s going big on Fergus O’Dowd’s op-ed. In addition to the article itself, the story’s also on the front page – and on the inside there’s coverage and analysis over pages 4 and 5. 
  • The Irish Times reports that a plan to invite President Higgins to a Direct Provision centre in Athlone was vetoed by the Department of Justice on safety grounds. 
  • And the Examiner leads with a story about Micheál Martin calling on the Government to resist tobacco industry pressure on the planned introduction of plain-pack cigarettes. 

Source: Joe Dunne/Photocall Ireland ... Moore Street

In case you missed it…

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Did you watch the Dublin South West Prime Time debate? We’re just three days out from polling day in the two Dáil by-elections…

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