Cabinet to discuss abortion, Irish troops in the Golan Heights and the economy

The Cabinet holds its first meeting since the summer break this afternoon, and the deployment of Irish troops in the Golan Heights, abortion and the economy will dominate the agenda.

It will be a busy meeting for Defence Minister Simon Coveney who will also have to report on what to do about the Government Jet which is broken down in the United States.

Minister Coveney will brief his Cabinet colleagues this afternoon on the fact that Irish soldiers are effectively now in a civil war in the Golan Heights and not a United Nations peacekeeping mission.

Last night he said Ireland has no plans to withdraw troops from the mission but he will outline how he plans to discuss the mission in a review with the UN before the replacement of soldiers in a months time.

Minister Coveney will also brief colleagues on the options for the Government Jet - the aircraft has been grounded in the US for five weeks and repairs or a replacement could cost anything from €3m to €4m.

Another issue on today's agenda will be a report from Health Minister Leo Varadkar on the claim a rape victim, who was expressing suicidal thoughts, was denied an abortion.

Some budgetary discussions will also take place off the back of the Exchequer returns, while Tánaiste Joan Burton has asked for an update on the housing delivery programme.

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