Taoiseach confirms the general election will be called tomorrow

It had been widely anticipated the Dáil would be dissolved today

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The Taoiseach Enda Kenny has confirmed he will dissolve the Dáil tomorrow and announce polling day.

However he refused to be drawn on the actual day voting will take place.

He met Tánaiste Joan Burton this morning - and while ultimately the decision is entirely his, it is understood they have agreed the election will take place on Friday February 26th.

Effectively all that is left now is for Mr Kenny to travel to Áras an Uachtaráin and seek the dissolution of the Dáil.

It is understood that part of the reasoning is to allow for discussion at the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) and in the Dáil chamber itself today on the issue of alleged abuse at a foster home in the south east.

Also this evening, the first exchequer returns for 2016 will be published which the government parties will no doubt use to say their recovery plan is working.

Tonight Mr Kenny is to address the Fine Gael Parliamentary Party and tomorrow will fire the starting gun on the election.

He told Midwest Radio he will call the election tomorrow.

Earlier, Ms Burton said she was looking forward to the election.

And Education Minister Jan O'Sullivan said she was ready to start the campaign in earnest.