Cabinet hoping to draw a line under cronyism row

The Cabinet will be looking to move past tensions over the Seanad cronyism row when it meets again this morning.

Also on the agenda will be a proposed referendum on the Constitutional ban on blasphemy.

While the EC’s probe into the Government’s tax dealings with Apple isn’t officially due for discussion - it’s understood it could be raised by Ministers concerned about the impact on Ireland’s reputation.

Tánaiste Joan Burton told reporters yesterday that she was satisfied with Enda Kenny’s explanation over John McNulty’s nomination for the Seanad - after a row which opened new tensions in the coalition.

The matter is still fresh on the minds of Ministers at Cabinet this morning - with both Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin are calling for Dáil debates on the matter.

Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald looks set to act upon the Constitutional Convention’s call for the removal of the blasphemy offence.

According to The Irish Times, she will bring a memo to her colleagues proposing a referendum - with a new general ban on incitement of religious hatred the likely replacement.

It all comes against the backdrop of the Finance Minister’s final negotiations with his colleagues - with just two weeks to go until Budget day.

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