This week’s UN General Assembly marks the first time both the Taoiseach and Tánaiste will miss the start of a new session in the Dáil.
Leo Varadkar and Micheál Martin will attend the assembly from Monday to Friday, meaning they will miss the commencement of the new Dáil session on Wednesday.
Newstalk Political Correspondent Seán Defoe told On the Record with Gavan Reilly this will impact the remaining TDs first week back in Leinster House.
“You presume Paschal Donohoe or somebody is going to take the Leaders’ Questions,” he said. “And it’s taking a bit of a sting off the Sinn Féin launch in the first week of the Dáil.
“Also, on a bit more of a parochial note, it’s also the first time both a Taoiseach and Tánaiste have missed the Ploughing Championship.”
This year’s UN General Assembly will also mark the longest time a Taoiseach has spent there, as Mr Varadkar will be in New York from Monday to Friday.
Seán said “one of the biggest ministerial delegations” he’s ever known will be at the assembly this week.
“You’ve the Taoiseach, the Tánaiste, Green Party Minister Eamon Ryan and Minister Stephen Donnelly,” he said.
“It’s highly unusual – last year, we were there for basically 36 hours as the Taoiseach sort of jetted in and out to give his national speech.
“The past few years have been curtailed by COVID-19; this is the first one since 2019 where there are no restrictions on what can actually be done.”
Along with speeches from the leaders of the 191 countries in attendance, there are several “side events” Irish ministers will be attending.
“Stephen Donnelly will be attending an event on future pandemic preparedness and global access to universal healthcare,” Seán explained.
“There are climate summits on the sidelines Eamon Ryan's going to... there’s quite a bit on the agenda.
“The Tánaiste also has a big focus on Israel and Palestine – having been there, he has a big passion for it.”
Ireland will also host a summit on the development of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, having been a “co-founder” of the goals in 2015.
“Now Ireland is hosting a summit with Qatar of all countries on Monday to show what progress has been made,” Seán said.
“Basically, the progress is there hasn't been any - Most of them were on track in 2019, but most are very off-track after the pandemic.
“Ireland is hoping to get a political declaration from countries to get back on track.”
You can listen back here: