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Will Enda finally do a TV debate?

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

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Everybody’s talking about 

Enda Kenny did a wide-ranging interview with Newstalk yesterday morning and there should be another one in the offing on RTÉ’s This Week at the weekend. He might even go and speak to Ryan Tubridy sometime soon. So, it appears Kenny is slowly shaking off his previous reluctance to do set-piece broadcast interviews.

Cabinet Meeting. Pictured An Taoiseach Source: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland

But broadcast interviews are one thing, the big question is whether Kenny is prepared to do a live TV debate. Micheál Martin is certainly looking for one but the Taoiseach has been notoriously reluctant to engage in such debates since taking office in 2011.

It’s with good reason. In 2007 Bertie Ahern was widely perceived to have comfortably beaten him in an RTÉ election debate and the Fianna Fáil leader went on to be re-elected. This explains why the Fine Gael leader pushed for the 2011 TV debates to be a five-way affair with all party leaders, instead of just two (although the political landscape was somewhat different).

As the next election draws closer, Kenny will come under more and more pressure to debates the likes of Martin and Gerry Adams on live TV.

The agenda

  • 9.30am: The banking inquiry meets in private session this morning.
  • 9.30am: The Taoiseach, Tánaiste and Jobs Minister Richard Bruton are launching the Action Plan for Jobs for 2015 in Leopardstown. 
  • 10am: The Public Accounts Committee scrutinises the accounts of the Department of Arts and the National Library. 
  • 12pm: After all that the Tánaiste is back in the Dáil for Leaders’ Question. 
  • 2pm: The Oireachtas Transport Committee holds a special meeting on the proposed Aer Lingus sale.
  • 2.30pm: The European Commission talks about its work programme for this year with MEPs Lynn Boylan and Mairead McGuinness due to speak to TDs and Senators. 
  • A full Dáil, Seanad and Committee schedule is here 

Inside Leinster House 

There was much excitement surrounding the joint appearance of the leaders of Sinn Féin and Fianna Fáil on the plinth yesterday after their Dáil walkout.

A future coalition perhaps? The start of a beautiful friendship?

Micheál Martin insisted: “I think it reflects the supremacy of parliament and the belief that everybody in the opposition have in terms of the need to have some respect for the Dáil, some respect for parliament…I think that’s all you’re seeing today, nothing else and nothing more than that.”

If you say so, Micheál.

What the others are saying 

  • Michelle Mulherin wants a ‘Skype facility’ within Leinster House to avoid future controversies over expensive phone calls, the Irish Independent reports.
  • Several papers report on Labour TD Anne Ferris’s decision to abstain on a Dáil vote on the mother and baby homes inquiry over the exclusion of some women from the investigation. She will not face sanction from the party. 
  • The Irish Times reports on the growing opposition in the coalition to the sale of Aer Lingus with many Labour and Fine Gael TDs speaking out against it at last night’s parliamentary party meetings. 

In case you missed it

Source: Video TheJournal.ie/YouTube

On the tweet machine 

The Socialists are sticking to their guns on Michael D:

About the author:

Hugh O'Connell

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