Smithwick Tribunal: “It is understood the tribunal chairman is concerned about the deadline”

According to the Irish Justice Minister, Alan Shatter, speaking to the BBC on Thursday – about the Irish Government setting the Smithwick Tribunal a ‘deadline’ of 30 November for its final report. [Irish Justice Minister Alan] Shatter said the November deadline was not set in stone. “We’ve been informed by the tribunal chairman that he believes the tribunal will be in a position to do that, but should it emerge that there’s a difficulty in that regard, of course, we’ll revisit the matter,” he …

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Euro crisis: “categorically there will be absolutely no bailout next year in Ireland”

A series of Irish government ministers have been clarifying their position after the Minister for Transport, Leo Varadkar, appeared to suggest that a second bail-out could be required for Ireland next year. Minister for Finance Michael Noonan “The programme is due to run until the end of 2013 and the start of 2014 and there is sufficient money in the programme to meet all eventualities so categorically there will be absolutely no bailout next year in Ireland,” Mr Noonan stated. “The …

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“I hope the people of Ireland will give him a brilliant and wonderful welcome…”

Another post possibly related to the point Mick was making…  As the BBC notes US President Barack Obama will not cross the border into Northern Ireland when he visits the Republic of Ireland, the Irish prime minister has said. From the breakingnews.ie report The Government is gearing up for the historic May visit after President Obama announced on St Patrick’s Day that he wanted to return to his roots in Moneygall, Co Offaly. But the Taoiseach said that under diplomatic rules …

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Euro crisis: “If Portugal asks, we will be ready to intervene…”

To the apparent outrage of some, last night Taoiseach Enda Kenny agreed to defer seeking a conclusion to talks on reducing Ireland’s bail-out interest rate at the two-day EU summit in Brussels.  At the IIEA blog, Karl Whelan argued After a lot of fighting talk about renegotiation during the recent election campaign, the new Irish leader Enda Kenny probably feels a certain amount of pressure to come home from this summit with a deal on the interest rate. My advice, for what …

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“The result is a crisis in European democracy”

On the back of a survey of more than 5,000 people of working age in the UK, Germany, France, Poland and Spain, the Guardian editorialises on the future of the EU.  They’re promising a month long series of articles mapping out the social, political and economic terrain.  From the Guardian editorial The poll we publish today is taken from a sample of more than 5,000 people of working age in the five leading EU states – Britain, France, Germany, Spain and …

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“Corporation tax is now mentioned as a quid pro quo”

Encouraging noises are one thing, but at the first EU late nighter of Taoiseach Enda Kenny’s tenure the BBC reports some possibly premature tweeting from EU President Herman Van Rompuy. In a message on Twitter, Mr Van Rompuy had initially said: “We have an agreement on the Pact for Euro.” The message was later amended to: “Update from ongoing meeting: Agreement in principle on the Pact for the Euro, but still discussing the other elements of the package.” A pact would …

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Statutory debt limits a quid pro quo for easing Irish debt?

Arthur Beesley on Enda Kenny’s European adventure (which given the times that are in it are more important than next week’s much reduced St Patrick’s day jaunt to the States): …one of Kenny’s prime tasks today is to convince his counterparts that his Government intends to make good on its pledge to doggedly pursue the fiscal path of rectitude and reform. In the first instance at least, this overrides debate on the interest rate and the banking debacle. Indeed, the …

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Enda Kenny: “He doth like the ape…”

Your captions please… Brian SpencerBrian is a writer, artist, political cartoonist and legal blogger. Actively tweeting from @brianjohnspencr. More information here: http://www.brianjohnspencer.com/ www.brianjohnspencer.com/

Rehn: “I expect this issue of pricing policy will be looked at from the overall European perspective…”

The European Union’s economic and monetary affairs commissioner, Olli Rehn, has been making somewhat encouraging noises  [for the new Irish government] ahead of a series of key European meetings for the incoming Taoiseach. From the Irish Times breaking news report “We look forward to continue supporting the Irish people and the next Irish government in the implementation of the EU- IMF program, which is key for Ireland’s economy and its revival,” Mr Rehn told reporters in Brussels. “We have the common …

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Enda Kenny: “There will be no complacency from Fine Gael”

The latest Red C poll for the Sunday Business Post shows a little bit of movement in support for a number of parties.  From the iol report In today’s Red C poll commissioned by the Sunday Business Post, Fine Gael stands on 38%, a rise of three percentage points since last Sunday despite the controversy over the party leader Enda Kenny’s decision not to take part in the first of the leaders debates. Labour is down two points to 20%. Support …

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Fine Gael maintain top place in latest Red C poll…

According to RTE this evening: “The Red C poll in tomorrow’s Sunday Business Post shows Fine Gael on 35%, up two points since the last Sunday Business Post Poll one week ago. “Labour is on 22%, up one. Fianna Fáil is up one to 17%, Sinn Féin unchanged on 13%, the Greens also unchanged on 2%, while Independents and others drop four to 11%.” As a useful addendum, here’s Noel Whelan points out that his opponent’s hopes that Enda will …

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Enda Kenny to Gerry Adams: “no party require[s] an army council in a time of peace”

Having survived an attempted leadership coup last week, Enda Kenny was in Belfast today.  The BBC reports that the Fine Gael leader again ruled out any possibility of his party forming a coalition government with Sinn Féin because the Provisional IRA army council has not been ‘stood down’.  Gerry Adams is “hugely” offended.  From the BBC report The Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny has again said he would not share power with Sinn Fein because the IRA army council has not been stood down. Mr Kenny is …

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Kenny survives confidence vote

As RTÉ reports Enda Kenny has survived the vote of confidence as leader of Fine Gael. Fine Gael parliamentary party chairman Padraic McCormack said the motion was carried after a very thorough and full debate. He said the decision had been made not to disclose the vote results and that the ballot papers would be ‘shredded’. Mr McCormack said the party was damaged in the short-term but will recover and will come stronger out of this episode. The problem is, …

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What is the contest in Fine Gael about.

The contest in FG is not urban or rural as Elaine Byrne suggested but between the politics of “what” and “how” as compared with the politics of “who, and where and when”. There is not inconsiderable number in Irish politics across the party divide for whom the intoning of the party name is the answer to all questions. This is great stuff at the time of an Ard Fheis when rallying the troops but holds less water when faced with more practical problems as we are now.

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Fine Gael must find a story and stick to it…

Enda has pulled out a lot of stops including, perhaps, pulling in the odd favour from an old friend. His big mistake was trying to take out his capable deputy, Richard Bruton (though to be fair, he may not have had much choice by that stage). In parts it carries the smack of desperate injustice, or at least a very bad metropolitan dose of inveterate culchie hating… Kenny managed not only to pull together a party decimated by under the leadership of Michael …

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What are the prospects for a smooth change in FG?

I suspect that it is obvious at this point that the possibility of a change at the top of FG has increased in the last 48 hours and I suspect, despite the way things are being played in the media, the likelihood of this change over being a smooth and relatively bloodless one has increased too. I believe that Enda Kenny knows that his race as currently constituted has been run and a significant change in approach is needed. It would seem plain to me that neither he nor the party at large simply can’t overcome the incorrect perception of him that has fixed itself in the mind of the electorate. I say this as a fan of the man, I believe he would be a superb Taoiseach but too large a portion of the electorate can’t see that and no matter what we do we appear to not be able to make the electorate see that. So the key question then becomes what do we do about it?

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Fine Gael’s impending crisis of leadership…

For understandable reasons tomorrow’s news in Northern Ireland and Britain will be dominated by the long awaited arrival of Lord Saville’s long awaited (and stashed for politically motivated reasons) report on Bloody Sunday. We will no doubt be doing our best to  bring you the coverage. But the big events in Irish politics may be happening south of the border. Part the first: the full meeting tomorrow morning of the Fine Gael parliamentary party who are thought to have been …

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