“It’s the start of a bruising week for the Government” could cover just about any week since the coalition took office back in June 2020 – but it aptly describes the next few days.
Here are five things to watch this week:
Turns out announcing the end of an eviction ban without having a plan ready for how you’re going to support renters isn’t the smartest move.
Since we broke the news on March 6th that the ban would not be extended, the issue has dominated the agenda – and every press conference given by a Government minister.
It is now culminating in a motion of no confidence in the Government.
Labour put forward the motion but the Government will instead use parliamentary procedure to table a motion of confidence in itself. Why? Because it gives them more speaking time.
It always strikes me as odd when a Government decides to table a motion of confidence in itself.
What other career would you get it in? Picture going into work and screaming about how great you are like Michael Scott loudly declaring bankruptcy in The Office.
That said, I’ve decided we should make it more commonplace and I’d like to express full confidence in myself and the wonderful job I’m doing.
Before they ever get to expressing how great they are, Government TDs will face a tongue lashing over the same issue on Tuesday night as Sinn Féin progresses legislation on the eviction ban.
The bill would seek to reverse the Government decision and extend the ban into 2024.
The fire and brimstone warm up for the…eh…fire and brimstone.
The vote on this most likely won’t happen until Wednesday evening, making it the third Dáil vote caused by the evictions issue.
Deny me thrice, and all that.
Watch the Independent TDs in the Dáil during the votes – particularly those who backed the Government last week.
Sean Canney, Michael Lowry, Denis Naughten, Cathal Berry, Matt Shanahan and Danny Healy Rae all voted with the Government as did former Fine Gael TD Joe McHugh.
The screws will be twisted by the opposition, with sweeteners offered by a Government which still insists it doesn’t do deals with independents.
The Oireachtas Committee on the Good Friday Agreement has a report out this week in advance of the 25th anniversary of the deal.
It has been interviewing all the main players involved in the peace process and is putting its findings together to look at the way forward for Northern Ireland.
They could, of course, have saved the time and listened to Newstalk’s podcast, ‘As I Remember It: Bertie Ahern & the Good Friday Agreement’ instead.
After a busy week, the Dáil will spend its Thursday afternoon session on ‘Statements of Support for the Irish Sheep Sector’.
Though, given how few TDs actually hang around on Thursday afternoons in their rush to get back to the constituency, it might take you longer to count deputies than sheep.
Both, however, can put you to sleep.